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Korea’s 1st pitch tournament attracts a global audience

Last week, hundreds of people from 35 countries joined live to watch Korea’s first tournament-style pitch competition. It was Podium Star’s 16th pitch event since 2019, and the first for Industry 4.0 solutions, including those in the smart city/smart factory/metaverse space. The full video recap of the event can be watched here.

Podium Star’s online platform

Tournament style with 4 rounds

The decision to turn the competition into a tournament was made in order to support as many startups as possible with pitch training. The tournament consisted of four rounds, with each round based on different judging criteria.

  • Initial evaluation: After the application period closed, 16 startups were chosen based on Industry 4.0 relevancy by an internal selection committee. All 16 teams received pitch training.
  • Preliminaries: Six weeks before the event, 8 startups were selected by marketing experts based on messaging ability. The teams received additional support including 1:1 pitch consulting, deck design and intro video filming.
  • Semi-finals: At Podium Star, the audience voted for the top 4 startups based on 1-minute elevator pitches.
  • Finals: 15 investors chose the winning team based on investability.
Each startup is introduced on stage with a 60-second intro video

The winning team

In the end, the judges chose Teknobuilt as the Industry 4.0 winner. Teknobuilt is a cloud-based solution that reduces schedule delays and cuts costs for construction projects. As a Podium Star winner, they will be receiving a $15,000 scholarship to join Draper University’s Hero Training program in Silicon Valley.

Teknobuilt co-founder Abhishek wins Podium Star: Industry 4.0

The 8 semifinalists

Thanks again to all eight teams who pitched at Podium Star. We hope you continue to build great solutions for customers, and relationships with potential investors.

  • Gentle Energy — Know your factory
  • Port — Telepresence for remote work
  • Shh-wit — Online protection from toxic language
  • Teknobuilt — Drive to build better
  • Tiny Wave — Improving the safety of structures and facilities
  • WeRide — Get paid to ride
  • XQuant — Bringing data intelligence to financial companies
  • Zephrame — AI-powered smart doors to cool the future

About Podium Star

We scout Korea’s best startups, help them craft their pitch, and put them on a global stage. Since 2019, we’ve helped dozens of startups join major accelerators, raise funds, and exit. Learn more at www.podiumstar.org

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Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore

Accelerating Korean startups with global aspirations. Entrepreneur, marketer, MBA grad, tech enthusiast, traveler, scuba diver. Korea resident since 2006.

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