The program was the first step in tightening startup ties between Finland and Korea that was initiated by the presidents of Finland and Korea, Sauli Niinistö and Moon Jae-in in 2019. The collaboration is the first concrete initiative to tighten the bond between these two booming ecosystems and to aid market entry into the Nordics for Korean companies. In September 2020, 18 Korean startups participated in the program and 10 were chosen to the finale.
“This journey is a giant step to the future”, states ambassador Cheon Joonho from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Finland.
The program coordinator Natalie Gaudet was proud to give voice to all participants in the grand finale and thanked everyone from the hard work that the teams had done during these exceptional times of COVID-19.
“Ten years ago we established Aalto Startup Center to increase the innovation capacity and boost entrepreneurship in Finland. Now, after one and a half years ago, the presidents of Finland and Korea discussed and wished for more cooperation in the startup landscape. It was agreed that collaboration will begin, says Janne Laine, Aalto Startup Center – Vice President Innovation Ecosystem of Aalto University.
“Now we are happy that the collaboration has started and the first group has finalized the program”, says Laine. Laine expressed his gratitude to the Korean Institute for the collaboration:
“This has been a good opening for Finland and Aalto University – and hopefully a fruitful experience for all startups. I hope on behalf of the Aalto Startup Center that your business will fly even more in the future.”
The ambassador Pekka Metso from the Embassy of Finland in Korea shared his visions from Soul:
“I’m sure that this experience has been exceptional in times like these: pandemia changed your plans and you were not able to visit Finland. Thank you for the successful partnership: we have mutual interests, societies and economies. Both Finland and South Korea are relying on innovation and know the importance of turning ideas into successful businesses.”
Ambassador Cheon Joonho from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Finland continued:
“It has been my great pleasure to meet all of you. This has been a successful program with the two countries. Happy to see how you have been creating and strengthening our cooperation. Finland is a great example of supporting startups”.
The final 10 startups received their certificates from the Aalto Startup Center and their mentors with compliments after the ten-week final program. The program has been a pilot project with the intention of making it annually permanent.
“Even the longest journeys start with a small step. Don’t think of this as an end, think today as a beginning”, ends the organizer of Korean Startup Center, Tuomas Oksanen.
The first ten teams to graduate from Aalto Startup Center and Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED) program:
Berg and Ridge – Luxurious pet furniture designed and manufactured in Finland. Made of Finnish birch tree and recycled PE felt naturally noise absorptive and breathable in order to circulate the body temperature of furry pets.
CLASSUM– is a communication tool that focuses on enhancing engagement and providing interactive learning/teaching experience.
FITT corp –A PHR (Personal Health Record) healthcare platform based on exercise test.
GENE ONE ON ONE Inc– Gene 1:1 focuses on the link between gut microbes and health and provides intestinal microbial balance coordination services.
H-Robotics– Smart Tele-rehab Solution (Web and Application) and Home-Rehab Robot ‘reblet’ which is a home rehabilitation device using robot technology and smart home rehabilitation service platform. Suitable for medical staff and patients.
Infoboss Inc.- Predicting secondary metabolites from whole-genome sequences with AI.
Littleone– A smart baby bottle to monitor babies’ crucial biometric data.
QSTag– Have created a QR code-based urine test strip that can detect 4 biomakers. The results can be received automatically through a smart phone application.
Rolling Pillow– A smart pillow to monitor sleep health with their Zambogo platform service.
Zeus Tech.co– Dental technology offering a 5-axis tooth implant machine.