The South Korean National IT Industry Promotion Agency, also known as NIPA, has announced the NIPA Startup Program, batch of 2021.
NIPA’s India office, Korea-India Software Cooperation Centre shortlisted 10 South Korean SMEs and startups looking to expand into the Indian market.
According to the official statement, South Korean startups have shown increased interest in understanding the Indian market and connecting to partners and vendors even amid the pandemic. The programme began in April this year amid the second COVID-19 wave.
The shortlisted startups will receive one-to-one mentorship, support in market research & PR, connection to relevant partners and vendors for business expansion. They will also get access to webinars, workshops, and industry engagements.
The programme helps the startups understand the India VC ecosystem and Indian business culture.
Sang Ho Weon, Executive Director of NIPA India, and Sowmya Keshava, CEO of Nilah Advisors [Image Credit: NIPA and Nilah Advisors]
“The program format was traditionally offline since 2018 when we first started in India. The selected startups would visit Bengaluru and utilise the coworking and co-living facilities provided as part of the program. It was a lot easier for startups to network with the startup and partner communities, understand the Indian business environment, and identify opportunities on ground.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to quickly try different formats that would be convenient for startups as well as the program. The online-only programme format has surprisingly been beneficial for startups in such a way that they can carry on with their business in Korea and also explore and understand Indian market opportunities,” Sang Ho Weon, Executive Director of NIPA India said in a statement.
Accoridng to the official statement, NIPA has joined hands with Bengaluru-based Nilah Advisors as its exclusive partner for the startup initiatives and programmes in India.
“Our core goal was to provide startups in the programme with deep insights on Indian consumer behaviour, potential partner connects, support in go-to-market strategies etc. The startups found connecting with mentors and subject matter experts across product, technology, and Tier 1 Indian investors very valuable,” says Sowmya Keshav, CEO of Nilah Advisors.
The shortlisted startups
The NIPA Startup Program, the batch of 2021, includes SMEs and startups across sections such as edtech, logistics, language learning, VR content, software application development, and others.
Seoul-based Letsee Inc, founded in 2014 by Sangchul Ahn, provides augmented reality (AR) solutions. Its product WebAR SDK enables users to create and publish AR content without the need for downloading any mobile applications. The pre-Series A stage startup has currently registered eight patents in South Korea, the US, and Europe.
Founded in 1997 by Tae-Hoe Yang, Visang Education is a global education company. It provides educational content ranging from textbooks and learning aids to online education and teacher support. The company is focused on developing low-cost, high-efficiency “smart-learning” environments for students to enjoy and self–motivate themselves to learn English.
Seoul-based AppMedia was founded in 2021 by Julius Park. It provides a digital mobile application book named AppBook, which offers multimedia content such as VR, video, audio, mini-game, quiz among others. The application has been designed to be more interactive, dynamic, and fun.
Seoul-based Vlogr Inc, founded by Lee Tae Jun, offers a very easy-to-use, simple mobile video editor. Users can take monthly and annual subscriptions to avail the service. It has an easy-to-use interface and expert-designed templates that makes editing videos easier.
Founded by Seungyong Kim in 2018, Coconut Silo is Hyundai Motor Group’s in-house logistics and mobility startup. It provides an advanced freight logistics platform named “COCO TRUCK,” which connects different players in the logistics market to one single platform. With big data, there is an enhanced efficiency that enables logistics companies to maximise the number of orders received.
Founded by Ahn Chul Ho, Contents Fair is using 3D VR 180-degree technology for producing web dramas. It also creates a 360-degree VR/AR gallery. The startup has also launched 3D VR 180º web drama in the US and Japan markets.
Founded by Arem Cho, the company holds a patent for a system that automatically generates MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging) in real time. It is currently applying for patents in seven overseas countries.
Seoul-based Kstyles, founded by Ye Joo Han, provides short animated Korean video and language learning content through its mobile application.
Founded by Choi Eukja, Camco provides a dating app, tailor-made for the Indian market. Apart from this, the startup also provides a blockchain-based ecommerce platform.
Healstation, founded by Soon Woo Kwon and Jung Gun Woo, is a technology startup. It provides software development services and is looking to expand in India. The startup also has another edtech product for pre-nursery and nursery students in Korea.