First ever Sweden Korea Matchday

Earlier this year we brought together five leading South Korean corporations and 31 Swedish startups for the first time.

Zoom screen shot of participants of Sweden Korea Matchday

Thirty three meetings focused on solutions for a more digital and sustainable society took place during this inaugural event. It was a significant first step to breaking into an important market for Swedish startups according to Ignite’s Project Leader Matchmaking & Startup Community Manager, Elijah Aldana.

“Korea is one of the top markets of interest for Swedish startups looking to enter the APAC region. Korea is the most innovative country in APAC and has put a big emphasis economically into growing as a top innovator. This matchmaking event was a key step to introduce some of Sweden’s most innovative startups to five Korean corporates looking to make an impact,” says Elijah.

Kim Silvasti, Country Manager for Korea and Eureka Eurostars at Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency (who funded the matchmaking event) adds that international collaboration within innovation is more important than ever.

Ignite’s Elijah Aldana

“Based on needs and opportunities, we at Vinnova identify, develop and initiate appropriate efforts to strengthen the ability to innovate. Through the Sweden Korea Innovation Initiative, Vinnova supports Swedish startups in finding Korean organizations so they can innovate, scale and create international partnerships,” he says.

Creating new connections

For Swedish startup, TeraSi, who has developed scalable hardware for 6G and beyond, meeting corporates in South Korea is a win-win for them as some of their largest potential customers within the wireless and semiconductor industries are there.

Kim SIlvasti
Vinnova’s Kim Silvasti

“Corporates need new technologies to maintain their competitive advantages, particularly in highly competitive markets such as the semiconductor industry. Working with startups gives corporates access to new technologies at a very early stage and helps them avoid falling behind their competitors. For a startup, working with a large corporate can provide significant revenues, gives the startup a seal of approval and also opens potential investment opportunities,” says TeraSi Co-founder, James Campion.

He adds that the meetings were extremely positive with what he described as a high input/output ratio!

“There is clear interest in our technology from large corporates in this sector. The meetings quickly led to follow up discussions with potential customers and partners for our technology. Overall taking part was extremely worthwhile!” Says James. 

It was also a positive experience for SK Discovery, a South Korean conglomerate focused in the energy sector amongst others. 

James Campion
TeraSi’s James Campion

 “Ignite actually pays attention to startups and investors to make meaningful connections and all the meetings were well above expectations,” says Hee Jung, Head of Investment, SK Discovery. This event was organized by Ignite Sweden, K Startup Center, Business Sweden, Things, the Embassy of Sweden in South Korea and is funded by Vinnova-Sweden’s Innovation Agency as part of the Sweden-Korea Innovation Initiative.

You can find more information about Vinnova’s work with Korea here.

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