SK Group start-up incubator program brings in nearly $10 million

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SK Group start-up incubator program brings in nearly $10 million

The second round of a 10-month start-up incubating program co-hosted by SK Group and the Daejeon Center for Creative Economy and Innovation attracted nearly $10 million in investment, SK Group announced Tuesday.

The second round of the Dream Venture Star program, which has been incubating 10 tech start-ups since last September, concluded in June and attracted double the amount of investment earned through the first round of the program in 2014. Local conglomerates, major financial institutions and venture capitalists from overseas participated in the program.

Among the 10 start-ups, Plasmapp attracted the largest amount of investment. The start-up applies plasma technology to medical instruments to produce various sterilizer products. It brought in 3 billion won ($2.7 million) from diverse investor groups including Stonebridge Capital and dentists’ associations.

Standard Energy, a tech start-up that produces secondary batteries for large-scale energy storage systems, attracted the second-highest amount of investment with 2.8 billion won, and Wisejet, which works on low-power, high-speed wireless transmission technology, attracted 1.1 billion won, the third highest.

The start-ups are now seeking opportunities to enter overseas markets.

Ezbelle, which has developed technology to project people’s faces onto 3-D images to enable remote consulting for plastic surgery, has caught the attention of Chinese investors. Companies from various sectors that aim to apply the technology to beauty, movies, virtual reality and gaming have also expressed interest in the start-up.

Pamily, short for “pet is family,” makes smart toys for pets and is already preparing to send supply to Japan’s largest pet insurance company. It is also working to utilize SK Telecom’s networks in the United States and Europe to enter their sizable pet markets.

“As the know-how for incubating start-ups continues to build, investment-related figures are improving,” said Lim Jong-tae, director of the Daejeon Center for Creative Economy and Innovation. “The creative economy is playing its role to boost the national economy.”


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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