In October of this year, a delegation of Korean investors flew to San Francisco to meet with local startups, funders and developers at the prestigious Salesforce Tower. Their goal was to make investments and find partners that can help grow the Korean startup ecosystem. In the last few years, we have seen an increasing number of Asian investors looking at opportunities in North America as they believe these markets will offer them better opportunities for returns than their home markets. These investors recognize that the best way to accelerate their companies’ growth is by partnering with other investors and launching new funds together—most recently, with a brand-new type of investing entity called a “venture accelerator fund.” To answer this call for action, our CEO Gary Fowler participated in a special event called the “Korean Investor Delegation: Investing in Tomorrow’s Industry Leaders Today” and brought together over 30 Korean venture capital firms, angel investors, and incubators who are interested in investing in North American startups both in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
What is Korean Investor Day?
Korean Investor Day, or IDC, is an event that connects Korean entrepreneurs, executives, and investors with the Silicon Valley ecosystem and the Bay Area’s startup scene. The event brings together Korean investors and Silicon Valley companies to create a partnership that will benefit both sides. By providing a platform for networking and investment opportunities, we hope to build lasting relationships and facilitate investments that will bring mutual value to both the Korean and Silicon Valley ecosystems. This event is hosted annually and took place on October 17, 2022. It featured the largest delegation of Korean investors in Silicon Valley to date, with over 60 members participating in the event.
Why Did We Participate in This Event?
We would like to note that one of the core goals of GSD Venture Studios is to strengthen the relationships between investors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders involved in the startup ecosystem. Through this event, we want to help support Korean investors who are interested in making investments in Silicon Valley companies so that they can meet with entrepreneurs, funders, and other stakeholders who are part of the local startup ecosystem. Our other goal for this event is to help Korean investors identify potential investment opportunities in Silicon Valley and the Bay area. The event provides a platform for networking and matches Korean investors with entrepreneurs, funders, and other stakeholders in the Silicon Valley ecosystem who can help facilitate new partnerships and future investments. Additionally, we hope to help increase the visibility of Korean investors in the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem. We understand that many Silicon Valley stakeholders have limited exposure to Korean investors and often have questions about their investment strategies and goals. Through this event, we hope to support Korean investors increase their visibility and build awareness about their goals and strategies so that Silicon Valley stakeholders can understand how they can work with Korean investors to grow their companies.
Who Attended the Event?
The event drew more than 60 representatives from Korean investor firms, including many new funds that are looking to make investments in North America. The event attracted a wide range of investors, including leading funds that have been investing in Silicon Valley for many years, as well as brand-new funds that are just getting started. The event also drew angel investors, venture capitalists, and fund managers, as well as other key stakeholders from the Silicon Valley and Bay area ecosystems who are interested in partnering with Korean investors to make investments in promising companies. The event also drew a large number of Silicon Valley companies, including many promising startups and early-stage companies from a wide range of sectors. Investors and Silicon Valley stakeholders who attended this event have a wide range of interests, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, healthcare, and other areas.
The Pitch Process
The event kicked off with a pitch session where Silicon Valley companies pitched their products and services to Korean investors. The companies that participated in this event had applied to be a part of the event in advance and were chosen based on their potential for growth. During the pitch session, investors listened to pitches from companies in a wide range of sectors and then narrowed the selection down to their top picks. At the end of the pitch session, investors were able to network with the companies that they were interested in working with and ask them questions about their products and growth strategy. This process provided Silicon Valley companies with an opportunity to pitch to Korean investors in person and demonstrate the value they offer. The goal of this event was to help Korean investors identify investment opportunities in Silicon Valley and vice versa. To facilitate this, the event featured an event-wide matching process where companies had the opportunity to pitch to multiple investors at the same time.
Investing Areas of Focus for Korean Investors
Korean investors have a wide range of interests, including fintech, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, to name a few. We have found that Korean investors are most interested in companies in the following investing areas: - Fintech: Korean investors are interested in fintech companies that offer innovative solutions in areas like payments, lending and online banking. - Cybersecurity: In recent years, the cybersecurity sector has seen a significant increase in venture capital investment. This is because cybersecurity is a key area of focus for many companies, including tech giants like Amazon and Google. Korean investors are interested in companies that offer cybersecurity solutions for enterprises or other industry verticals. - AI/ML: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two of the most promising areas in the tech industry. These technologies are applicable to a wide range of use cases, from autonomous vehicles and healthcare to voice assistants and smart homes. Korean investors are interested in investing in early-stage companies that are focused on artificial intelligence or machine learning.
In conjunction with GSD Venture Studios, we explored the rising popularity of Korean investors looking to make investments in North America. The Korean Investor Day event, which is the largest event of its kind, brings together Korean investors and Silicon Valley companies to create investment opportunities. We hope that this will help raise awareness about this event and help Silicon Valley stakeholders understand how they can work with Korean investors to make strategic investments and grow their companies together.