Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) ‘s ‘Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore’ started with a mentoring session for seven Korean travel startups showcasing their products and services to potential investors and VCs during a four-day program from October 24-28, 2022. The program conducted by KTO is organized by CNT Tech and co-hosted by Cuvee April.
The first mentoring session was led by Justin Hall, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in Southeast Asia, founded by Silicon Valley natives. Since 2011, the firm has launched four funds, managed US$250M AUM, and invested in 60+ companies. Justin has been part of Golden Gate Ventures since 2012 and is responsible for sourcing investments across the Asia Pacific region. Justin is also the director for the company’s Annex Fund; an initiative focused on offering follow-on funding for existing portfolio companies. He is known for his knowledge of digital media, entrepreneurship and startups.
The mentoring session with Justin Hall was held at the Yuen Law LLC Office, a boutique legal practice dedicated to providing clients practical, cost-effective legal advice on commercial, corporate, intellectual property, family, private wealth and dispute issues.
Samuel Yuen, a leading lawyer with the Yuen Law LLC office, gave a small presentation about the legal firm and interacted with the startups. Samuel is a renowned corporate M&A expert with a “multi-threat” background in securities, intellectual property and commercial transactional work. “We provide meaningful work to our team. One of the things we do is to help startups gain a foothold and ensure that as they progress through the stages, they achieve adequate and good legal advice.”
The Korean startups that are part of the program are:
- WeAreFriends Co., ltd. : The startup has developed an online world travel app, “TriPriend,” that connects locals with future travelers based on a 400,000-user network from 180 countries.
- Seoul Unniedeul: The startup is helping K-beauty lovers in Southeast Asia find reliable products
- Gleam Media Group INC.: It operates a K-Pop fan platform. It has secured 7.5 million K-Pop fans worldwide. The Starplay Application has been launched in 145 Countries.
- Enkorwithus: The startup has developed a residential service for foreigners visiting Korea. It runs and manages 162 rooms in Seoul. It provides housing services and various activities that Koreans and foreigners can enjoy together.
- Wmclub: Working Master is a service that matches functional shoes and insoles that fit customers’ feet; it has entered online offline channels such as Lotte, Shinsegae, Hyundai, and CJ.
- Globaleur: The startup works with global airlines, hotel chains, TMCs, OTAs, and tourism boards with an AI-driven itinerary recommendation and optimization engine. It operates out of the USA, Singapore, and Seoul and has customers such as Thai Airways, Royal Air Maroc, KB Financial Group, Seoul Tourism Organization, etc.
- VEStellaLab: The company has developed ‘Watchmile’ last-mile navigation that provides real-time available parking space information, recommends optimal parking space for a driver(user), and guides them to the recommended parking space even indoors.
Justin Hall, the mentor for the day, advised the participating startups on improving their pitch decks and adding more value for investors. Justin advised the startups on their presentation slides, with regards to the change of focus in content, rearranging the slides, changing the numbers, making it easier to read, focusing on revenue models and current contracts, etc., to attract investors attention.
He told Vestellelab, the AI parking space navigation app provide, to showcase long-term projections for investors with respect to their B2G contracts and to focus more on the B2G aspect in their presentations.
“You should focus on the Southeast Asia market and present Myanmar as the first step. Southeast Asian investors cannot actively invest in Myanmar right now. It is a controversial country currently. So the focus should be that we succeed in Myanmar and a similar model we will take to other Southeast Asian countries. It is a small change but important,” Justin advised Seoul Unnieudel, the no. 1 platform for K-Beauty products in Myanmar. Justin advised the Tripriend startup founder to improve the presentation by showcasing achievements to investors in terms of sales, IT, etc., instead of current revenue.
The program in Singapore has mentoring sessions, VC meetings and a Demo day event for startups. The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and KTO have set up a Korea Tourism Startup Center(KTSC) in Singapore in 2022 to help tourism startups create more opportunities in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Since 2011, KTO has accelerated more than 1,000 startups over the past 12 years. In the last three years, it has worked to develop startups into innovative tourism companies through a specialized program for global market expansion.
- Korean startup develops an AI mobility safety management platform to avert delivery service road accidents
- Seoul Unniedeul aims to make ‘Star Secret Korea’ the No. 1 K-beauty brand content platform in Myanmar
- Enkorwithus making life easier for international students & travellers to Korea
- WidgetNuri’s automated platform Smart Checker keeps a total check on unmanned devices