If you went to Slush, you have certainly noticed the Korean Pavilion, a premiere in Finland and in Europe. Well, manifestly, we are going to see increasingly amount of Startups from the “calm morning” country, as Europe and Scandinavia is one of their target market.
Disclaimer: The trip to Korea was covered by our partner – AVING Global Media.
ArcticStartup was invited by AVING Global Media to meet the NIPA (National IT Promotion Agency) as well as representatives from the ICT government during the VR Day of Smart Content Center in Seoul, Korea.
Smart Content Center is located in Anyang, South part of Seoul in a definitively modern building. The whole area could have been another dormitory suburb, if ICT and Science Ministries hadn’t decided to settle there. The center has been established to nurture small but strong global companies by supporting competent domestic companies specializing in the field of smart content through various programs for strengthening their competencies.
Working as an incubator for Korean talents, the startups have been selected after a strict application process, giving them access to workspace, advises in legal and accountancy matters, translation services, mentorship and opportunities to visit worldwide events such as CES. The selection is rigorous in the way that companies receiving help from government must have a potential to grow as they got bad experience in their first attempts with “zombie startups”. The announced goal of the Smart Contents Center is to provide to middle stage startups a scale-up plan to go on the global market as the ICT government clear ambition is to help developing companies able to enter Chinese market as well as European and US. Launched in 2012, this center was the first of its kind and is now followed by 18 ICT centers across Korea.
Anyang is surrounded by high buildings, and the Smart Content Center changed the purpose of the area.
The Nokia fall reverberate in the Korean minds, after the drop of Samsung’s profit. This is the key point where the public sector decided to establish a focus on startups to sustain the economy. At the moment, 70% of the job creations come from SME’s, according to M. Jung-Sam Kim from Ministry of Science, and assisting the rise of the startups is a preventive measure to a possible crash of corporate companies such as Samsung or SK Telecom.
The interest for the Center’s mentors about Scandinavia is real. While being enthusiastic about the success of Rovio and Supercell, they always kept an eye on Finland as a case to follow in the management process additionally to the agile ability of startups to adapt themselves and evolve.
“Finland is the best place to learn and adapt our culture to the European market”
Abounding similarities can be found between the two countries: a small internal market that drives companies to adapt a global vision from the beginning, a hard working culture and a thrive to develop new technologies and innovative solutions. The Korean delegation’s participation in Slush this year was certainly not an accident and was showing a certain will to create a bridge between the countries.
The VR Day was an opportunity to meet the incubated companies and have a showcase of their product. Here is three examples of the hottest Korean Startups:
2 years ago, a subway accident, as well as the sinking of a boat, happened in South Korea and safety questions arose.
MWN Tech, which was known for their job simulation video games, changed their focus and developed VR safety games. During the VR Day, they introduced us Fire Fighter VR, a fireman simulation, including a physical fire hose to put the player in total immersion.
The result is pretty amazing, and we almost feel the heat and the stress of a fireman inside a burning building.
After the launch of this game, the company will continue with educational games directed to disabled children as, for Yunkyu Choi, CEO of MWN Tech, VR is “a direct experience that can help people in reality”.
The company is at the moment focusing on the domestic market, but plan to expand in US and Europe in the coming year.
Digital Motion Entertainment entered the VR market with a motion and face capture device, allowing the user to move inside the game with an oculus rift. Their technology solve the problem of having joysticks in the hands and allows you to play with your fingers.
With the help of their technology, they created a multiplayer VR FPS, that you can play either with a rifle replica or only with your hands.
The idea behind the sensors, is to allow people to be free of their move in the virtual reality, and the applications can be found not only in gaming but also in educational field.
Digital Motion Entertainment, which garnered much attention from investors on the first day of SLUSH, introduced the production projects for “Real Live Avatar” service, based on real-time motion recognition technology, and “Sensory Sports App Contents”, with a ski jumping game.
TwoEyes VR is a new camera system, developed by Arc Interactive, to capture and broadcast 360 degree, 4K and 3D video. Even if it could looks like a “usual” camera, it allows the users to create way more.
With its 360-degree, 3D VR and high-resolution, the TwoEyes VR could totally change the way VR movies are produced as, until today, you needed a minimum of 12 cameras to give a real 360-degrees feeling. Arc Interactive plans to democratize VR with this user-friendly device.
The release date for TwoEyes VR has not yet been announced but there is an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign planned for this summer.