Some of the most innovative Korean startups showcased their solutions at CES in Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer electronics expo. This is where innovative technologies and services from startups, corporates, and entrepreneurs around the world gather in one location. South Korea played a major role this year as they opened the largest-ever Seoul Pavilion for CES. Seoul Digital Foundation and Plug and Play Tech Center organized the Seoul Pavilion where 25 Korean startups were able to pitch, network, and make partnerships. They showed the world that Seoul is not only a smart city but one of the top innovative cities in the world. 

Seoul Pavilion 

Seoul Pavilion

CES is held for 3 days and over 2,100 global companies participate. The Seoul Pavilion takes place in Eureka Park (Tech West) and the exhibition space for the 25 Korean startups was the largest ever with a scale of 310 square meters. The number of Korean startups participating there was also the largest ever. In addition, Seoul Pavilion was the only Eureka Park operating booth to set up a pitching stage. It was able to attract global VCs, ACs, and potential buyers. 

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Digital Foundation have been organizing and operating the Seoul Pavilion since CES 2020. The aim of the Seoul Pavilion is not only to support Korean startups for overseas expansion but also to raise the status of Smart Seoul. 

“The safety of the people involved in the Seoul Pavilion is as important as the business performance of participating companies. We will do our best to support companies so that tangible results can be achieved, as we struggle to participate in a difficult time due to Omicron,” said the President of the Seoul Digital Foundation, Kang Kang-sik. 

Pre-CES Support Programs with Plug and Play Korea

Seoul Digital Foundation and Plug and Play Korea helped Korean startups by operating the 2021 Smart City Global Accelerating Program that supported comprehensive diagnosis, customized education, consulting, and investment matching opportunities. Furthermore, they put together a pitching event and invited Plug and Play VCs from Japan, Singapore, and Europe offices. 

The program’s aim is to help startups expand into the global market. In addition, the organizations offered full support to develop new markets by holding daily corporate pitching events across Seoul. In addition, in cooperation with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), large and medium-sized companies conducted a “PoC support project” for 4 promising companies that were looking to verify market performances and effectiveness. Furthermore, Mayor Oh Se-hoon held the “CES Seoul Pavilion Inauguration Ceremony” before heading to Las Vegas. 

Innovative Korean Startups

Seoul Pavilion

Innovative Korean startups went to Las Vegas to showcase their products and solutions at CES 2022. 24% of the Korean startups were selected for the CES Innovation Award and 3 out of 6 startups (Klleon, Algocare, Waynehills Ventures) from the 2021 Smart City Global Accelerating Program received the CES Innovation Award. 

Of the 25 Korean startups at CES, 6 have gotten support from Plug and Play to expand to overseas markets. Plug and Play Tech Center is the world’s largest early-stage investor, accelerator, and corporate innovation platform with global headquarters in Sunnyvale, California in Silicon Valley. Furthermore, Plug and Play has invested in startups such as “Paypal” “Landing Club” and “Dropbox” and currently has over 25+ Unicorn startups.

Before CES 2022, Plug and Play recruited global mentors to support the mentoring portion of the program for the six selected startups. In addition, they also partnered with Plug and Play Germany to introduce networking opportunities to companies in Europe through their internal pitching event. 

These Korean startups have the opportunity to collaborate with Plug and Play and participate in various Plug and Play events from their global offices, such as Expos and networking sessions. Moreover, they will also have opportunities to be screened by Plug and Play’s VC teams from their global offices for future investment opportunities. 

6 startups in the Plug and Play Global Accelerating Program

Eureka Park’s only Pitching Stage

Seoul Pavilion

The Seoul Pavilion had the only pitching stage at Eureka Park. The stage held various events such as presentations, corporate pitching, and company-buyer MOU signings. Moreover, the Seoul Pitching Day event took place on the Seoul Pavilion stage every day during CES 2022. In addition, they invited global VCs, ACs, and buyers to help Korean startups expand into overseas markets. 

The previous 35 participating companies (20 from 2000, 15 from 2021) have cumulative sales of over $17 million dollars and have attracted over $36 million in investments. Thanks to the attention the pitching stage brought to the 25 Korean startups, expect them to attract even more investment from Korean and global investors

Support from Korean University Students

Seoul Pavilion had 25 University students from Kyunghee University and Sungkyunkwan University who had excellent English skills. Therefore, they helped companies with business interpretation and translation support. Moreover, the students were sent to the startups in advance so they could learn about the company’s solutions before heading to Las Vegas. 

I am trembling and very excited about the fact that I will be able to open a market with Seoul’s innovative companies at CES, the world’s largest exhibition,” said a student at Kyunghee University Ye-hee Jeong. 

Side Events at CES 2022

There were various side events held at CES 2022. The CES Eureka Seoul Forum took place on January 7th. Furthermore, the forum allowed startups to share their major achievements during CES 2022. 

We have accumulated sufficient references such as solution verification with large companies through technical verification support before participating in the exhibition. We are confident for a successful business with buyers,” said the CEO of Argos Vision Park Ki-young. 

Moreover, there was a “Participating startup/media breakfast meeting”. This meeting was held so the startups could freely network with Korean and global media.

The 25 Korean startups that participated in CES 2022

Seoul Digital Foundation

  • Allink Co., Ltd – Developers of an NFC tag-based information delivery solution
  • Archidraw Inc. – Developers of a 4K rendering shot and AI placement recommendation function
  • Breezm – A futuristic eyewear brand
  • CATCHFLOW Co. Ltd. – Creator of a smart sound life type small directional speaker
  • Common Computer – Creator of “Internet for AI” that can develop and utilize AI
  • Coptic – Service that can receive 3D customized glasses
  • IDEACONCERT.CO.LTD – Creator of a Manga/Webtoon video production authoring tool
  • Klleon – Creator of a social media platform for video production and sharing
  • MOAIS, Inc. – Developer of an AI golf coaching app service/solution
  • ROBORUS – Creator of a Blockchain DID-based store-friendly smart robot
  • Toonsquare – Developer of a webtoon production service platform
  • WARP Solutions Inc. – Creator of a long-distance wireless charging item using frequency
  • Waynehills Ventures – Creator of an AI-based text data video content conversion solution
  • Z-emotion – Developers of a visualization program for designed soft products
  • ArgosVision Inc. – Developers of a 3D camera for intelligent robot/autonomous driving
  • COCONUT SILO – Big data-based freight transportation brokerage platform
  • Nuvilab – Creator of an AI food scanner
  • RTDATALAB – AI-based air quality diagnosis solution
  • Algocare – Creator of an IoT device that provides a personalized nutrition service
  • EDmicBio Inc. – Creator of a 3D bioprinting-based biomimetic organ chip
  • LUPLE Inc. – Developers of digital health solutions to improve sleep disorders
  • MAETEL (ZEREMA) – Creators of the AI smart pillow called ZEREMA
  • Nu Eyne Co. Ltd. – Creators of a wearable personalized medical device
  • Omolle Inc. – A connected fitness service using a smart mat
  • SKIA – Developed an AR solution for projecting lesions appearing on medical images
  • DSLab Global – AI development platform 


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