The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization’s annual program to support tourism startups are running successfully. The 2022 Global Tourism Challenge ‘STARTOUR’ program fosters startups and provides a sustainable and successful soft landing for tourism startups with proven marketability and business feasibility in Korea and overseas markets.
The tourism companies promoted this year are attracting the attention of the international market, expanding the reach of the tourism market. The selected startups are securing a competitive strategy by converging with new technologies and topics such as K-pop, K-beauty, mobility and artificial intelligence.
In addition, this year’s STARTOUR global tourism challenge also has a support program for the 2021 tourism challenge program for alumni startups with an up-level program. The program is expected to create a positive effect with the cooperation between senior and new tourism companies.
The Global Tourism Challenge 2022 program has three accelerators with global capabilities driving startups. The main accelerator CNT Tech has provided 19 startups with business materials such as IR Deck production and consulting for presentation and international expansion strategy plan, business matching day, global road show, investment attraction demo day, etc.
2022 Global Tourism Challenge Program Details:
July 1 to 29 – Deck IR Introductory and Training Program
Startups are mentored to create and translate IR decks before pitching to global investors based on market differences and business specialties.
September 6 – 7 – Strategic plan for the global market and study of potential buyers:
Startups can improve suitability for the target country’s market and consult its market capabilities, potential buyers, strength of cooperation with potential buyers and advance entry strategies.
September 21 – Labor Day:
Through online sessions, startups develop the strength of cooperation with buyers/investors from expected countries.
October 24 – October 28 – Global Roadshow:
Startups visit Southeast Asian countries (Vietnam, Singapore, etc.) to demonstrate startup items, promote investment opportunities, and create partnerships for global expansion.
November 14 – Investment Promotion Demonstration Day:
Startups can promote opportunities to attract investment and present IR presentations when the main domestic and foreign investment institutions in the tourism sector are invited.
Startups participating in the 2022 ‘STARTOUR’ Global Tourism Challenge Program are:
- Encore with us: Startup provides long-term housing and community services for international students and foreign tourists. It aims to build a community platform for foreigners that offers additional services such as education and tourism based on housing services that can be used easily, conveniently and safely.
- Stay: The startup offers a hotel vacation service using the vacancies of small and medium-sized hotels. The company is growing rapidly attracting investment from Singapore and major local tourism investors Yanolja and Magna.
- Unlimited: The startup operated by Jienim is a brand and content franchise platform for hotels to customers, offering reliable services and stay packages. UNBOUNDI invests directly in vacant rooms based and provides services through the recycling of objects. Jienem currently operates more than 25 3- to 5-star hotel brands in Korea and Southeast Asia.
- Hanteo Global: The company plans to create an O2O service called “Whosfan Village” through connection with platform services. Whosfan Village is a space where fans can immerse themselves in K-culture, including K-pop, fashion, food, beauty, hobbies, etc.
- Gleammedia Group: The company has successfully branded Hallyu tourism by providing online and offline K-POP idol tourism services through the Hallyu StarPlay fandom platform. It has secured 7.2 million global users by establishing its shopping centers in 145 countries.
- AMP Inc.: ‘Duckzil’ is a global brokerage platform for K-POP merchandise. It’s a one-stop shop for all things K-Pop idols. Fans can submit events, locations and merchandise to the app, allowing people to find them all in one place. Duckzil sells 3,500 types of merchandise to fans in 82 countries. It is also expanding into K-pop portal businesses that provide information about K-pop and places visited by idols.
- More global: It is a startup that has developed AI-based travel schedule optimization and recommendation engines and offers ‘Enterprise Saas’ solutions. Personalized AI recommends optimized travel routes and schedules with big data containing more than 200 cities and more than 140,000 locations worldwide. While existing market competitors offer some form of B2C, Globallier is the only model in Korea equipped with B2B technology.
- Trips: The startup offers travel products through an AI AL:OOO platform. The ‘Integrated Travel Platform’ uses search data and personal information to obtain data and recommend personalized travel products. Users can cut the time it takes to plan their trip through AI travel assistance. Travelai is discovering and marketing influencers in each region with overseas travel agencies to tap into the Southeast Asian market.
- Wemeet site: It provides a mobile-based social network (SNS) service that matches local users and foreigners based on interest. Based on GPS and artificial intelligence, the platform supports matching users with shared hobbies and interests in nearby spaces. Half a year after its beta launch, it has been recognized for its competition by providing users in more than 80 countries, and
- HotSunny Co. Ltd.: The CoolP platform is a location-based video platform that provides video, location, search optimization and social networking (SNS) services. The platform allows users to vividly experience travel destinations that others have visited through personal experience videos, and users can plan their own trips. It is also possible to indirectly experience travel places that other users have visited and enjoyed.
- Trend Maker: A tourism representative startup that combines with the K-Beauty brand. Her product Dinto is gaining attention from the market as an innovative K-beauty brand. With its launch in February, Trend Maker signed an exclusive contract in Japan and has entered into trials at Olive Young, a major domestic pharmacy, attracting great attention from consumers. Trend Maker plans to expand into the K-beauty tourism market by recommending tourist attractions with the flagship store.
- SOSC: The startup offers an unmanned photo printing kiosk service called Selfic, which allows users to easily print and share photos from their smartphones. It connects online and offline through non-face-to-face, high-quality photo printing for users and displays active ads that engage users with advertisers. It plans to expand into the global K market by providing image production services for webtoons, character licenses, K content and cloud photos.
- Seoul Sisters: The tourism company has grown by converging with K-content and K-beauty. It is a startup operating StarSecret Korea (SSK) that connects K-beauty content and commerce in Myanmar. It offers specialized beauty content, such as reviews, brand and product introductions written by editors, as well as celebrity beauty tips and Hallyu news. This helps them to buy products suitable for them. The Seoul sisters plan to enter Indonesia and Singapore by producing content related to style and beauty tourism to introduce Korean tourist attractions.
- Vestella Laboratory: It is a company specialized in parking solutions based on the Internet of Things (IoT). Its watchmile service tracks empty parking spaces in real time in indoor parking spaces. Real-time parking status and location of empty parking spaces are identified based on video and IoT information, and optimal parking paths are guided by AI-based object recognition technology, non-GPS precision positioning technology, dynamic creating maps and digital maps. creation technology. Vestella Lab is currently providing solutions by entering Samsung COEX and others and plans to enter the North American market and introduce solutions for airport parking lots and Disneyland.
- Ppinka: It is a mobility advertising platform that uses the exterior of the vehicle as an outdoor billboard to provide advertisers with billboards and many IoT-based in-vehicle advertisements that supply vehicles at a lower cost to users. Tourists rent cheap tour vehicles through the service, and hotels and tour companies can use them to market outside the main tourist attractions where tourists travel.
- Swing: The startup offers mobility services. The Swing Electric Kickboard (SWING) is equipped with IoT devices to track, maintain and manage the device’s locations and usage conditions. Since last year, The Swing has established itself as a global tourism startup by attracting more than $30 billion in cumulative investment and establishing a Japanese corporation.
- AU Inc: The startup has developed a bio-signal detection radar for early detection and quarantine of high-risk infectious diseases. Combining a radar module that detects bio-signals such as breathing and heart rate using a 60 GHz millimeter wave radar with a thermal imaging camera sensor installed outside the building, early detection of high-risk infectious diseases, incl. COVID-19 is possible. It will be deployed as a solution to alleviate the anxiety of tourists after the global COVID-19 pandemic and will respond in advance to another infectious disease and will significantly expand the detection accuracy and detection area of the prototype radar module designed for vehicles or buses to improve the security of the tourist business.
- Visit Inc: Round Pick is a mobile tourism content service that allows anyone to create location-based 360VR content and share it in real-time using a smartphone rear camera. Rather than simply providing information on the map, travel-based shopping allows users to buy, book and sell products by connecting the information exposed in 360VR content, providing specialized services in tourism.
- Nine to six: A unique travel company Walking Master, a functional insole and shoe recommendation service that fits customers’ feet. Walking Master analyzes and checks customers’ feet within 10 seconds and matches functional shoes and insoles that match up to 24 types of foot data. By developing insoles that take into account the characteristics of Koreans and Asians with many flat feet and wide feet, it can achieve the same effect as expensive functional shoes at a low price. By developing and selling customized bedding for backpackers and long-time hikers, it plans to provide convenience to travelers, hold various events in cooperation with tourist attractions, and promote tourist attractions.
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