October 24, 2019

S. Korean startups seek opportunities at RISE

PUBLISHED : July 10, 2019 - 17:33

UPDATED : July 11, 2019 - 13:10

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HONG KONG--Five South Korean companies -- Posture 360, Adriel, TOROOC, S.lab and Roborus -- pitched their business models during “Pitch” and “Machine Demo” competition sessions held on July 9-10 at RISE, Asia’s largest tech conference being held in Hong Kong.

“For Pitch competition, they selected one company each from seven groups yesterday (as the semifinalist),” Posture 360 CEO William Choi told The Investor. Unfortunately, none of the Korean companies made it to the semifinal round on July 11. 

TOROOC Chief Marketing Officer Chang Jae-hee

Ahead of the conference, over 450 startups from all over the world competed and 72 of them got the opportunity to perform on the stage in front of investors, including Arthur Hu from Lenovo, Helen Wong at Qiming Venture Partners and Bonnie Chung from 500 Startups.

Nevertheless, Choi still sees that it was meaningful to participate. “You have to get out there to get your work done. You can’t just sit around and do it. I think RISE is great (in that sense),” Choi said. “So far the response (from the investors) has been really good. A lady who was here is also considering to invest in our first round and gave me her number.”

Another participant, South Korean companion robot startup TOROOC CEO Jeon Dong-su, also noted that attending the conference was helpful as his main purpose was to raise brand awareness.

“It was difficult for us to win the pitch competition since we haven’t launched our robot yet and do not have sales figures that can be appealing to investors. But still, this was a great opportunity for small operators like us to advertise ourselves,” Jeon said.

He added that he is keeping his hopes up for the results of Machine Demo competition, which is another competition that allows startups to demonstrate their actual tech products, as it was picked as one of the three finalists.

Moreover, not only investors but also Korean participants received lots of opportunities to be part of different programs. “We were also asked to participate in the accelerator program, which is really great for us. They are working with conglomerates in Japan and are choosing ten startups,” Choi said.

Posture 360 was also chosen as one of the top three companies that received the most requests for meetings at RISE.

Including the five startups, a total of 28 Korean companies, such as BluePrintLAB and Node Talk, participated in RISE.

By Song Seung-hyun (

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