KITA to Boost Win-win Collaboration between Startups and Large Companies
- Positive responses on startup open innovation event, co-hosted with GS Group -
‘GWG (Grow with GS) x KITA’ Open Innovation event jointly held by the GS Group and the Korea International Trade Association (Chairman, Kim Young-joo) on October 2 is gaining positive responses from the people involved in startup businesses.
The Korea International Trade Association conducted a survey of 193 startups who participated in the consultation meetings at the time of the event. According to the survey, a considerable number of startups are requesting additional information and carrying out the follow-up consultations in the fields of joint research and development (R & D), overseas expansion, and investment with GS Group affiliates (GS Caltex, GS Retail, GS Home Shopping, GS Global and GS Construction) and famous venture capital (VC) and accelerator (AC).
147 survey respondents carried out 242 consultations and 109 of them answered 'considering collaboration' (45%), followed by 'working on consultation' (37, 15%), and 'additional consultation confirmed' (22, 9%). The satisfactory factors (208 cases, multiple responses) were 'collaboration opportunities with large companies' (95 cases, 46%), 'the rise of mutual trust between large companies and start-ups' (63 cases, 30%) and ‘opportunities for promoting their products and investment consultations’ (48 cases, 23%).
The CEO Lee Seung-dae of KIS Tech, the developer of sonic vibration exercise device, expressed his gratitude by saying, “It was a great opportunity for us to promote our products to the people at large companies who are not easy to contact usually. GS has given us an objective assessment of our products and has been advising us that could be led to business and investment.”
Varram System secured investment of 3 billion won from GS Homeshopping last September introduced the products for companion animals based on IoT (Internet of Things) by running a booth at the event. The company's moving CCTV called 'Appbot Riley' is popular among the pet owners who are worried about the pets left alone at home. The SEO Seo Byung-jo of Varram System said, "By collaborating with large corporations, we have been able to respond effectively from the product planning to marketing and sales channel expansion.” He also stressed, “We are looking forward to seeing the results of overseas expansion through the global network of GS."
Another achievement of the 'GWG x KITA' event is that startups had investment consultation opportunities with VC and AC. The Ventures, Primer Sazze Partners, and DS Asset Management who participated in the investment consultation, are planning to continue to work on negotiations with a focus on startups that have potential. An official from VC who was involved in consultation meeting, said, "Thanks to the open innovation event, I was able to meet various startups that I could not normally access to. If this kind of significant event linking the investment ecosystem and startups continues to take place, and the barriers between investors and startups break down, it will be a great help to boost the startup ecosystem.
GS Group, which co-hosted the event with the Korea International Trade Association, said, "The companies that we selected with KITA have strong willingness to expand their businesses into overseas.” It also stated, "It was a rare opportunity for us to see the startups that we could collaborate with across multiple business areas of the GS Group at one place."
An official from the Korea Trade Association said, "We have reviewed nearly 300 proposals from startups with the officers in investment review team at GS Group and selected 193 companies over the past three months. We hope that this event will help large companies accelerate internal innovation through startups, and startups will lessen the concerns about technology leaks."
The Korea International Trade Association has hosted global conferences and open innovation events since July last year with the aim of establishing a win-win cooperation model with the exchanges between large companies and startups and boosting the startup ecosystem. Next year, the organization will hold a 'Startup Global Support Center’ (tentative title) of 826㎡ in COEX to provide a full-fledged support for start-ups to expand their businesses to overseas.