August 2019 KAIST Startup Awards Review

Who are this year’s Startup Teams?

KAIST provides a variety of startup programs to support entrepreneurship initiatives and student startup teams. There are approximately 1800 KAIST-born startups, and of these there are notably Naver, Nexon, Idis, InBody, etc. that are leading firms in their industries in Korea. We believe that this an outcome founded on KAIST’s mission to  promote and nurture scientists to contribute to South Korean economy and development based on theoretical and practical efforts. ‘2019 KAIST Startup Awards’ is founded upon KAIST’s philosophy that creating value to promote science and technology-based startup culture. Every year, it is our goal to promote and support KAIST startup teams and startup culture at KAIST. KAIST Alumni Association financially supports rewards to outstanding startup teams, including money rewards and CES attendance.

Who were the participating teams?

2019 KAIST Startup Awards participants are currently enrolled or graduated KAIST individuals and teams whose business license has been registered within the last 3 years. The program was advertised starting from early June and took registration until July 12th. We received registration from 35 student startup teams and 17 alumni teams for a total of 52 registrations. In terms of departments, we received 30 registrations from the KAIST Business School, 17 from Engineering Schools, 4 from College of Liberal Arts and Convergence Science, and 1 from Natural Sciences Schools.

Selection Process and Procedure

2019 KAIST Startup Awards invited 12 senior entrepreneurs, investors and experts as judging panel members, and executed a round of application review followed by presentation evaluation. Applications were reviewed based on creativity, feasibility and business potential, and 15 teams were selected. Presentations were evaluated based on motivation, business development competencies, business feasibility and business plan, and final 10 teams were selected. For fairness, scores from investors involved in investment activities with any of the participants were excluded from final score count. In addition, presentations were conducted in an open-to-public setting to calibrate the presentation environment, and each team presented a total of three times to receive a variety of feedback. The program will continue to try new evaluation methods in the future.

Who was the anticipated first place?

This year’s KAIST Startup Awards awarded one grand prize, 3 top prizes, 6 excellence prizes and 10 runner-up prizes. Grand prize was awarded to Animal Industry Data Korea (AID Korea) who presented livestock healthcare solution, and top prizes were awarded to TEEware, MORAI and Glorang. Excellence prizes were awarded to Heybit, HBSmith, ReDWit, Deepscent, Bunyoung, and ALTIX. We sincerely congratulate the winners, and we wish the best for their future.

How were winning teams rewarded?

The 10 final awardees were rewarded up to 10,000,000 KRW and opportunity to attend CES in the United States as well as investment and mentoring opportunities. On November 19th, there will be a network event and an award ceremony that includes a speech from KAIST alumni entrepreneur, previous KAIST Awards winners mentioning, and introduction to CES attendance and missions. CES attendance takes place in January 2020, followed by New Year’s Greeting Ceremony for the final winners.

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