In case you were wondering what we were up to last Tuesday, we got to see some of Seoul’s best startups come out and pitch for a chance to compete in Geneva at the Global Seedstars World Final. Held at MARU180 with help from the Swiss Embassy in Seoul, it was a fun filled night of good food, drinks (wish I got to try the red…) – and of course – pitches.

G3 supported the event as the local Ambassador in Seoul and we were proud of the impressive show Seoul put on for the visiting representatives from Geneva. Over 100 VCs, would-be entrepreneurs and startup founders, as well as a bevy of local tech press, crowded into MARU180 to witness the crowning of a new Seoul champion and to support them on to global success in Geneva.

The Startups

From a rigorous selection process Seedstars World’s Seoul event saw 11 startups pitch their hearts out. We saw everything from Opti Fold (a miraculous eyelid cure), Hodu Labs (who’ve developed tech to control devices via an eye-tracker and brainwaves), and Soundmate (a social media platform for music) – yep, these startups came together to put on an awesome show!

Seoul Winner: Eggbun Education

Eggbun Education CEO, Fernando Moon with MARU180 Manager Heeyoon Lee and Swiss Embassy Representative Christian Schneider

Eggbun Education CEO, Fernando Moon with MARU180 Manager Heeyoon Lee and Swiss Embassy Representative Christian Schneider

Eggbun wowed judges with their machine-based English learning platform. CEO and founder, Fernando Moon, set the tone early describing competitors as boring, unhelpful, and just occupying memory in smartphones.

Eggbun’s secret sauce consists of algorithms that can learn and mimic casual human speaking patterns. Language students from all world over can now study by conversing with the closest thing to a Terminator, without – you know – the muscles, guns and funny accents (apologizes to Austrian English speakers).

As the winner, Fernando will be flying out to Switzerland in March 2016 to represent Korea at the global event. As part of the prize, G3 Partners will be helping Fernando prepare for the pitch in Geneva – and believe me when I say: he’s going to be great (shots fired!).

2nd Place: Baum

Swiss Embassy Representative Christian Schneider with 2nd place with winner Steve Yi of Baum!

Swiss Embassy Representative Christian Schneider with 2nd place with winner Steve Yi of Baum!

As a participant of the K-Global Startup Engine program, we’re no strangers to Baum. We’ve commented before on the remarkable progress we saw from CEO, Dr. Steve Yi. Steve’s progress shined once again, with judges commenting more on his business model than about what exactly his startup does during the Q&A. We’ve seen Steve come a long way and we can’t wait to see how much better his next pitch is going to be!

If you don’t know, Baum is a software-based solution that helps device manufacturers estimate power consumption of computer chips in a couple of days – currently, the process takes years.

If you’re in town and want to see Steve’s next pitch, you can catch it at the Startup Engine demo day on October 21st!

3rd Place: Taggle

Hailey Kim and Hyunjae Choi of Taggle!

Hailey Kim and Hyunjae Choi of Taggle!

Director of Growth for Taggle, Hailey Kim kicked the event off with the first pitch of the night. We’ve seen Hailey pitch before – as Taggle is also a participant in the Startup Engine program – and as one of the strongest presenters in the program, Hailey did not disappoint.

Clear, concise, and on-time, Taggle demonstrated to judges just how cluttered and unorganized smartphone galleries are. With Taggle’s tagging system, you can now search your gallery using tags instead of trying to find one photo in a pool of thousands.

Taggle is another startup we have high hopes for and look forward to seeing again at Startup Engine’s demo day. Good work Hailey!

Shoutouts

We wanted to send a shout out to the various supporters who helped make the event magical:

 

  • The Seedstars World team Katarina Szulenyiova and Karen Mok for helping put together a fantastic event. Katarina and Karen took time to vet and prepare the 11 participating startups in addition to logistics, judging and MCing the event; We’re truly amazed at the amount of work and effort they put in in their short time here. The event wouldn’t have happened or been as smooth without these two and we hope to see them again next year!
  • The judges: Benjamin Levy (Bootstrap Labs), Michael Hong (Red Herring), Olivier Mouroux (Asiance), Christian Schneider (Swiss Embassy) and Eugene Kim (Sparklabs). These gentlemen took time out of their extremely busy schedules to join us and participate. The questions were great and we couldn’t have asked for better judges (good work too from our CEO, Nathan Millard for choosing judges that actually… judged). Thank you all!
  • And lastly, everyone who came helped make event great! Thanks for coming out and we hope to see you all again soon!