Six international accelerators from the United States, Japan, Singapore, France, the Middle East, and Finland have been participating in Launchpad, a global accelerating program operated by the Korea Creative Content Agency, since June. Launchpad was first started in 2017 as a project to support Korean content startups’ overseas expansion step by step. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it has switched to an online program since last year and has focused on 1:1 consulting and business matching through its own platform. This year, in particular, the startups that were evaluated and selected directly by local accelerators will get funds and close mentoring for localization.
Accelerators will help the startups enter each regional market: Mind The Bridge for U.S. and Europe, Creative Valley for France, Maria01 for Finland, Shorooq Partners for the Middle East, Awesome Ventures for Singapore, and 01Booster for Japan.
The strength of Korean startups is their technical prowess.
Choi Seong-an, head of Mind The Bridge, and Yann Gozlan, CEO of Creative Valley, who have a lot of experience in supporting Korean startups’ overseas expansion, remarked that Korean content startups are now technologically competitive in the global market, citing their qualitative growth as well. Compared to the past, technology-based companies such as AI and machine learning have increased.
“The metaverse market is currently growing in Japan,” said Takeru Kawashima, the director of 01Booster. “Korea has a history of MMORPG games, an early version of the metaverse, and thus has technical expertise in this field. It will be able to attract the attention of Japanese companies.”
Ville Simola, CEO of Maria 01, also explained, “Gaming and entertainment industry is very promising in Finland.” He said, “When considering the environmental factors, Korean content companies will be able to settle down well with their technological strengths.” In addition, it is a good time for Korean startups to enter Singapore and Southeast Asia, whose people have a favorable image of Korea.
These accelerators emphasized the importance of product/market fit and language skills in overseas expansion. They didn’t forget to mention that it is necessary to understand cultural differences.
Meanwhile, the final teams for the Launchpad program are in the process of business matching through regional accelerating and customized support for each company. After the demo day in mid-November, they will focus on securing commercialization funds for localization and overseas expansion in early December.