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Tech Incubator Program for Startups leads innovative startups

International Cooperation Division
Deputy Director Young Soon Lee
The second Beyond TIPS event in 2018 arranged the meeting among startup teams based on high technology, investors and large corporations and promoted post investment in and M&A of startup teams. The reverse pitching by large coporations on the introduction of their new business strategies revitalized open innovation among large coporations and TIPS startup teams.
□ On May 23, 2018, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups held the 2nd “Beyond TIPS” at Tips Town in Seoul. The event aimed to help outstanding start-up teams participate in the MSS’ TIPS program, secure post-investments, and identify opportunities for technology partnership and M&As with larger corporations. Tech Incubator Program for Start-up (TIPS) is an advanced tech start-up incubating program that provides start-up teams selected and recommended by private entities (incubators) with government support matched with private investment such as R&D, commercialization fund, overseas marketing, etc. Starting this year, Korea’s leading venture capitals, large corporations, the Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KIBO), and the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) will join the program as post-TIPS investors to help TIPS start-ups grow into star venture companies. Large corporations include LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, SK Telecom, LG Display, etc.
□ This year’s event opened with networking between TIPS start-ups and investors, followed by IR pitching, reverse pitching by large corporations, and an investment convention.
① (Networking) The beginning of the event saw TIPS start-up teams, representatives from larger corporations, VCs, and tech and business experts (members of The National Academy of Engineering of Korea) for a networking session. Start-ups showcased their innovative technologies and business models, and offered a demonstration of their products and services.

② (IR Pitching) Eight TIPS start-up teams, pre-selected based on technical expertise as evaluated by an expert panel, participated in the IR pitching session. Based on the result of the pitching session and the participants’ response to each prototype, two outstanding start-up teams were selected and awarded with start-up grants (1st Place: KRW 5 million; 2nd Place: KRW 300 million). The selected teams will be given an opportunity to pitch their products at the TIPS Grand Convention scheduled for December.
③ (Reverse Pitching) This session was newly introduced for the 2018 event to promote cooperation between larger corporations and TIPS start-up teams. In this session, start-up teams learn in which tech areas the larger corporations plan to invest in the future and what business items larger corporations have so that they can develop technologies and strategies aligned with the investment strategies of larger corporations.
④ (Investment Convention) The event concluded with a one-on-one investment consulting session, where start-up teams sit with representatives from larger corporations, VCs, and angel investors whom they usually do not have access to. This session is aimed at raising the teams’ chance of securing post-investments and landing business or tech partnerships.
□ Under the TIPS program, which kicked off in 2013, 38 incubators in the private sector have discovered and fostered 423 promising start-ups. Moreover, the program saw a total of KRW 695.7 billion investment, which is 3.7 times as high as government support. Now, the program has established itself as the Korean government’s leading platform for developing innovative businesses.
□ Minister Hong Jonghaak attended the event in person. Addressing the participants, he expressed his hope that larger corporations and TIPS start-up teams will work together through technology cooperation and “open innovation” to lead the future of Korea’s start-up businesses. Referring to the recent supplementary budget approved by the National Assembly on the 21st, the minister stated, “The MSS will greatly expand the TIPS program, which had become a model of a successful innovative start-up program led by the private sector. “First, we will increase the support provided to TIPS start-up teams. Second, we will launch a post-TIPS program for TIPS graduates with outstanding results in post-investment and job creation to help them scale up. Third, we will build a TIPS Town in Daejeon to promote start-up businesses outside the Seoul Capital Area.”