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Startup Festival 2017 @ Seoul, Korea



The Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity (KOFAC) has been creating spaces and infrastructures to support individuals in Korea realize their creative ideas.  KOFAC along with the Ministry of SME’s and Startups have partnered up with 500V2 an ad agency company to launch Korea’s very first Global Startup Conferencecalled Startup Festival 2017.  This will be the largest government-sponsored startup event in Asia and will take place at CoEx in Seoul.

The conference will host more than 5,000 visitors, 70 speakers, 100 volunteers, 550 startups, and 40 media journalists from across the world for a truly global conference.

The Startup Festival will take place from Nov. 30th to Dec. 2nd in CoEx (Hall B), Seoul, South Korea.  They will bring together the leading startups, venture capitalists, accelerator programs, and speakers under one roof for 3 days.

The Startup Festival was created to bring the highest value to the startups that will be attending the conference.  This is why it will be important for startups not only in Korea but also in Asia to attend this conference.  The Startup Festival has gone all out to create an event that generates opportunities for not only the international VCs and founders but also the startups looking for investments or accelerator programs.

“There are a record-high number of investors and growth companies coming to Startup Festival 2017. We are expecting more than 800 startup-investor match making meetings,” says Donghyuck Kim, CEO of 500V2.

Some of the International Speakers of Startup Festival 2017 include:

startup festival

The matchmaking area at the conference will allow for a more personal setting for in-depth pitches and feedback between startups and investors/accelerators as well as startups and journalists.  The Startup Festival’s three main themes are “People”, “Asia”, and “Alliance”.

Why Should Startups Come?  

This will not be the average Korean Startup Conference.  There will be a large global presence in the form of accelerator programs and international VCs.  Not only will there be a chance for Asian startups to go global but there is a huge opportunity to get valuable feedback from some of the top investors and angels.  The accelerator programs that will be at the conference get hundreds of applicants to be a part of their program but only a handful get selected.  To have a one to one meeting with key members from these programs will go a long way into hopefully getting accepted.

Why Should VCs Come?  

The Asian startup ecosystem is booming.  Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan foster a lot of hidden talent.  Asia is very diverse, both in terms of its culture and its economy.  To be honest it is probably the most mature private capital market outside of the United States and Europe.  This is why most of the funding for startups are coming from Asia, mostly in tech startups.  The digital markets in China, South Korea, and Singapore alone is massive.  There is so much potential in Asia and VCs need to take advantage of it.

Why Should Journalists Come?  

The startups that might excite some Journalists might be the large presence of global AR/VR companies like WizDish, Kinicho, and Altergaze.  These three are some of the hottest up and coming startups related to AR/VR technologies.  They are also in talks with Melody VR and Gravity Sketch to come on board.  It will also be interesting to compare these companies to some of the Asian AR/VR companies.  Colopl NEXT VR Fund will be bringing their whole AR/VR gaming startups.  Visually this conference should be very entertaining.

startup festival 2017

For more information on the Startup Festival feel free to check out their site which is constantly being updated as they gather more speakers.  Promotion for the conference will start in early November, but for those that register early (Before Oct. 31st), the registration fee will be waived and there is a legit chance they will offer a startup a booth at the conference.  So it is critical that startups act fast and fill up those booths before the start of November when the Startup Festival begins their promotion.


Lessons Learnt from The Lean Startup



The Lean Startup book authored by Eric Ries has been sitting on my shelf for quite sometime now, so since I am currently contributing to the making of a startup I figured I’ll take a look into it.

The book is divided into 3 parts, after reading the first two I had my mind blown with the pragmatic and scientific approach to building startups that is described in the book.

In this post, I would like to share some important insights that I gained regarding building highly innovative businesses.

Validating Value Proposition And Growth Strategy Is The Priority

Usually, a highly innovative startup company is working in its most early stage at building a product or a service that will create a new market.

Consumers or businesses have not been yet exposed to something similar to what is going to be built by the startup. Therefore the absolute priority for startups in early stage is to validated their value proposition i.e. to get real data about eventual customers interest regarding their product/service.

The other priority is to validate that the growth strategy that is going to be executed is, in fact, effective.

The growth strategy of a startup is its plan to acquire more and more customers in the long term and in a sustainable fashion.

Three kinds of growth strategies are described in the book:

  • paid growth in which you rely on the fact that the customers are going to be charged for the product or service, the cash earned from early users is reinvested in acquiring new users via advertising for example
  • viral growth in which you rely on the fact that customers are going to bring customers as a side effect of using the product/service
  • sticky growth in which you rely on the fact that the customers are going to use the service in some regular fashion, paying for the service each time (via subscription for example).

These growth strategies are sustainable in the sense that they do not require continuous large capital investments or publicity stunts.

It is important to know as soon as possible which strategy or combination of strategies is the most effective at driving growth.

Applying The Scientific Method

The scientific method is a set of techniques that helps us figure out correct stuff. After making some observations regarding a phenomenon, you formulate a hypothesis about that phenomenon.

The hypothesis is an assumption that needs to be proven correct or incorrect. You then design experimentations that are going to challenge the assumption.

The results of the experimentations makes the correctness or incorrectness of the hypothesisclear allowing us to make judgments about its validity.

In the lean startup methodology, your job as an entrepreneur is to formulate two hypothesis:

  • hypothesis of value (assumptions about your value proposition)
  • hypothesis of growth (assumptions about the effectiveness of the growth strategy)

These hypothesis are then validated/invalidated through experimentation. Following the precepts of lean manufacturing, the lean startup methodology prescribes to make experimentations while minimizing/eliminating waste.

In other words, you have to burn minimum cash, effort and time when running experiments.

An experimentation in the lean startup sense is usually an actual product/service and helps startups in early stage learn invaluable things about their eventual future market.

Sometimes startups learn that nobody wants their product/service, imagine spending 8 months worth of engineering, design and promotion work (not to mention cash) in a product/service only to discover that it does not provide value to anyone.

Minimum Viable Products And Feedback

As we pointed out earlier, an experimentation can be an actual product or service and is called the minimum viable product(MVP).

The MVP is built to contain just enough features to validate the value and growth hypotheses, effectively requiring minimum time, effort and cash.

By getting the MVP launched and in front of real users, entrepreneurs can get concrete feedback from them either directly by asking them (in focus groups for example) or via usage analytics.

Analytics scales better then directly talking to customers but the latter is nonetheless used to cross validate results from the former.

It is crucial to focus on metrics that creates fine grained visibility about the performance of the business when building(or using) a usage analytics system. These metrics are called actionable metrics because they can link causes and effects clearly allowing entrepreneurs to understand the consequences of ideally each action executed. Cohort analysis is an example of a analytics strategy that focuses on actionable metrics.

The bad kind of metrics are called vanity metrics, these tend to hide how the business is performing, gross numbers like total users count are an example of vanity metrics.

The author cites several examples of different startups that managed to validate or debunk their early assumption by building stripped down and non scalable MVPs and even sometimes by not building software at all.

You would be surprised to hear for example how the Dropbox folks in their early stage managed to created a ~4 minute video demonstrating their product while it was still in development. The video allowed them to get more people signed up in their beta waiting list and raise capital more easily.

Closing Thoughts

In the first two parts of the book, the author talks also about how employees inside big companies working on highly innovative products and services can benefit greatly from the lean startup approach, although very interesting this is not very useful for me right now.

The third part, talks about the challenges that arises when the startup gets big and starts to stabilize and how to address them. Basically it revolves around not loosing the innovative spirit of the early days, again, this is not very useful for me so maybe for good future reading.


About the Author

This article was produced by Tech Dominator. see more.

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How to Create Buzz around Your Startup Idea



Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.

– Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

There is something very exciting starting up a business. Startups offer you a chance to do something fresh and take new ideas to the public. But if you’re going to succeed, you need to get it right from the very start of the journey. Creating buzz around your startup’s launch is possible, and here are some ideas to help you do it.

Blog About Your Startup Journey

This is a great thing to do if you want to create a personable and refreshing brand image. People like to see how your business is doing and how it grows from an idea into a fully fledged business. Blog about what you’re doing and how your business is expanding. If you can develop an audience of readers ahead of your startup’s official launch, it will be easier for you to hit the ground running. You can then make the blog the voice of the company as it grows and starts to turn a profit. This is something that you should think very carefully about when starting up a business.

Make Plenty of Announcements

You should try to make a lot of announcements when you are leading up to the launch of your startup. There are plenty of people out there that will be interested in hearing about what you’re doing. You need to start by creating a strong presence on all the key social media sites. If you can do this, you will build up an audience that will then be receptive to your messages. They will also be there to spread the word and share announcements with their friends on social media platforms. This can be hugely important when you’re trying to raise brand awareness and expose your announcements to as many people as possible.

Organize an Event and Invite People

Organizing a real event that people can turn up to and attend can be a great idea. It makes your startup’s official launch feel more real. If you just set a random date for the launch and don’t mark it in any way, it will be much more difficult to create a buzz. Hire a stage, sound system and find bleacher rentals to host the event. Then you can write a speech and make a plan for the schedule of the launch. If you can do this well, you will create a lot of buzz, and maybe get some more coverage for the startup too.

Reach Out to People Who Can Give You Publicity

There are plenty of people out there that might be able to help you achieve the publicity and coverage you crave. When your business is being talked about, people will hear about your brand and what it’s doing. So, you need to make sure that you reach out to many people in the press, the media and the blogosphere who can help you. There are many business magazines and websites that write profiles of new business and young entrepreneurs. If you can contact some of these people, they might be interested in offering you some coverage. Don’t underestimate how important this could be. Hopefully these ideas will help you with starting up a business.


About the Author

This article was produced by SolVibrations is a multi-author self improvement blog, aiming to inspire creativity within.

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