– Second Venture Boom Policies Lead to Innovation Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) –
• A total of 74 Korean startup and venture companies were given the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022. That is, out of all the Innovation Award winners (404 companies), K-startups represented one-fifth of the recipients.
• Among them, 70 companies (94.6%) had received support from the MSS, including TIPS or the Startup Package Project, providing evidence for the success of government policies to create a Second Venture Boom.
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (Minister KWON Chil-seung, hereafter referred to as “MSS”) announced that 74 Korean startup and venture companies were honored with the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 that took place from Wednesday, January 5, to Friday, January 7, 2022.
This year, a total of 574 products from 404 companies were chosen to receive the Innovation Award from 27 categories, including intelligent home appliances (Smart Home) and Mobile Devices & Accessories.
Among them, 173 products (30.1%) were from Korean companies. As some companies received the Innovation Award for more than one product, a total of 89 companies (22.0%) from Korea received the Innovation Award.
Out of the 89 companies, 74 companies, or 83.2%, were startup and venture companies, and among them, 60 companies had seven years or less of history.
One notable feat is that K-startups represented one-fifth of the 404 companies that received the Innovation Award.
That is, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 was an opportunity for Korean startup and venture companies to clearly showcase their world-class innovation.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) listed four areas to pay attention to at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 this year:
(1)Digital health, including wearable health management devices and remote healthcare technology; (2)Transport, including electric cars and automated vehicles; (3)Sustainable technology, including alternative energy and food technology; and (4)Space technology, including space exploration technology and long-distance communication technology.
Among the four fields, Korean venture and startup companies had especially excellent results from digital health.
Korean startup and venture companies received the Innovation Award from a total of 23 categories. 25 products (28.7%) were selected as Innovation Award winners from the Health & Wellness category, a category related to digital health.
Being awarded was an opportunity for Korean healthcare venture and startup companies to be recognised for their innovation and excellence by the world.
14 products (16.1%) received the Innovation Award from the Software & Mobile Apps category.
Many of the products that were awarded were AI-based software solutions. This shows how much Korean venture and startup companies have been successful at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022.
Among the 74 startup companies, 70 (94.6%) have received support from the MSS and other government organisations.
This serves as evidence that the government policies that aimed to create a Second Venture Boom have greatly contributed to encouraging innovation from Korean startup companies.
Among the 60 startups that were given the Innovation Award, 29 companies, which comprise approximately half of the honorees, were companies that took part in TIPS*, one of the major support programs of the government.
* (TIPS) A program jointly organised by the private sector and the government to discover and nurture startup companies. The government provides R&D funds (max. KRW 500 million), commercialisation funds (max. KRW 100 million), and overseas marketing funds (max. KRW 100 million) to startup companies that have first received investment (KRW 100-200 million) from private investment companies.
In particular, Petnow Inc. (CEO LIM Joonho), a former TIPS participant, was chosen as a Best of Innovation winner in the Software & Mobile Apps category for its mobile application “Petnow,” which provides a solution to identify dogs by their nose prints instead of a microchip.
The Best of Innovation Award is given to the best technology and products out of all Innovation Awards. Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Petnow are the only Korean companies that have been selected as Best of Innovation to date.
Among the 30 startup companies that participated in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 from the MSS’s KSTARTUP Hall, six were chosen as Innovation Award honorees. Details on the six companies are as follows.
1. Hippo T&C
Hippo T&C (CEO CHUNG Tai-myoung) was given the Innovation Award for two categories ((1)Health & Wellness, (2)Virtual & Augmented Reality) for its AttnKare, a digital device that uses VR and AI to diagnose and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms.
CEO CHUNG Tai-myoung stated, “The support from the MSS was always with us every step of the way when we were growing as a company, starting from the earliest stages.” He added, “The Innovation Award will serve as a milestone for our vision to enter the U.S. market.”
EVAR (CEO LEE Hoon) was selected as a TIPS participant in 2019, and has since been engaged in research on developing next-generation EV charging infrastructure including portable chargers.
EVAR’s Smart EV Charger is a fruit of such great efforts. It received the Innovation Award for two categories ((1)Smart Cities, (2) Sustainability, Eco-Design & Smart Energy).
The Smart EV Charger is the first of its kind worldwide to receive the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation Award in multiple categories.
CEO LEE Hoon stated, “Since receiving the Innovation Award, I have been receiving many calls from major charger companies in Korea to be their supplier.”
He added, “I hope that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 will be an opportunity for our company to move one step higher.”
3. TACTRACER Co., Ltd.
TACTRACER Co., Ltd. (CEO JUN Chul-woo) was given the Innovation Award for the Drones & Unmanned Systems category for SPIDER-GO, an automated warehouse (store) inventory management system.
CEO JUN Chul-woo stated, “Participating at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 and receiving the Innovation Award will allow more people around the world to become aware of our product. I’m looking forward to possible export agreements with foreign buyers or attracting investment.”
He added with great determination, “I will use this opportunity as a stepping stone to officially start entering the foreign market.”
4. AI FOR PET
AI FOR PET (CEO HEO Eun-a) was given the Innovation Award for the Health & Wellness category with the company’s TTcare, an AI disease diagnosis technology and total healthcare application for pets.
AI FOR PET was selected as a participant both for Pre-TIPS in 2020, and TIPS in 2021, to develop its AI disease diagnosis technology. It became the first AI disease diagnosis software to be certified as a “medical device for animals” in Korea.
In addition, the company was given the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 to share the innovation and excellence of its technology with the world.
CEO HEO Eun-a stated, “I’m very happy to receive the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022.”
With great anticipation, she added, “A number of investors in Korea have congratulated me on the award, and are showing positive responses regarding sequential investments. It’s very encouraging.”
5. Linkface Co., Ltd.
Linkface Co., Ltd. (CEO LIM Kyung-soo) is one of the most promising startups, as it was awarded the Innovation Award for three years in a row, from 2020 to 2022.
The company’s DearBuds, which received the Innovation Award for the Headphones & Personal Audio category, is an upgraded version of the Bio Neckband that was given the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021. The idea for the upgrade was brought to life while participating at the MSS’s “Startup Growth Technology Development Project*.”
* (Startup Growth Technology Development Project) Support technology development of startups with growth potential to encourage growth for startups (2 years, max. KRW 400 million)
CEO LIM Kyung-soo stated, “There are a lot of trial and error during the course of running a business after founding a startup. I was able to overcome all the trial and error with the support from the MSS.”
He added, “DearBuds received much positive attention from the overseas market as a number of foreign media press outlets covered it. Participating in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 was definitely a great opportunity to showcase our product to the world.”
6. LUX Lab
Lastly, LUX Lab (CEO BYUN Ju-young), which was already awarded the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 last year for three categories for two products, was awarded the Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 again for the Fitness & Sports category with the company’s LUX SonicFIT, an exercise map using low-frequency vibration.
CEO BYUN Ju-young, who is the first university student in Korea to receive the Innovation Award, stated, “I was able to participate in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 with the LUX SonicFIT product that I was able to develop with the Global Startup Academy.”
He added, “Although I had four failed cases along the startup journey, I was able to overcome all difficulties and ultimately be awarded the Innovation Award.”
Deputy Minister for Startup and Venture Innovation Office CHA Jung-hoon stated, “The two reasons why Korean startups were able to achieve excellent results at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 are the passion from the innovative entrepreneurs who boldly took on challenges without being afraid to fail, and the government’s efforts to create the Second Venture Boom to encourage innovative startups.”
He added, “With the Second Venture Boom, (the MSS) will continue to support Korean startups with innovative technology. This will help enable them to showcase their technology in not only Korea but also the global market, with the goal of ultimately placing Korea as one of the top four startup countries.”
Companies that were awarded the Innovation Award will be announced to the world on the official Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 website. Recipients can also use logos that state they have been given the Innovation Award when advertising their companies in the future.