This week in New York, South Korea has brought some of their most notable startups to showcase at their KOREA-US Startup Summit (aka the KOREA-US SMEs go TOGETHER) event.
We scoured the show floor and met with many Korean startups that are trailblazers in their fields. But at the end of the day, there were 5 startups that stood out for us the most, and one, in particular, that earned our Best of show award.
Here are our top 5 Korean startups at the show, some of which may just end up changing the world one day.
Learning a new language is not easy for most people. Yet, foreign language skills open up new opportunities in life, which is why so many people spend time and money on learning a new language. Most language tutoring companies provide text-based vocabulary services by using text-based games. Unfortunately, that methodology doesn’t enable you to have a conversation in another language.
Teuida is unusual in the way that it takes a completely different and more practical approach to teach someone a new language. To start, Teuida improves your speaking skills by providing video lessons with tutors. The tutors help teach you pronunciation and grammar. But what’s especially unique about Teuida is that they provide real-life interactions where you get to talk to people. This makes learning a new language that much more effective.
Despite being pretty sustainable, it turns out that most renewable energy plants are not running very efficiently. For example, wasted electricity from wind power generation in Jeju, South Korea reached 13,166 MWh this year.
Ultimately, many renewable energy plants are wasting lots of electricity and money each year. 60Hertz has developed a remedy for this with their AI tech helps to predict the amount of renewable energy generation to in turn help balance the supply and demand of the entire grid. The result is less energy being used, and less cost for companies.
#3 VPIX Medical
VPIX Medical has come out with cCeLL, a product that is going to revolutionize the way doctors perform Cancer surgery. cCeLL is essentially a small digital microscope that can take cellular-level photos.
Traditionally, it can take half an hour to an hour for a surgeon to wait for biopsy results during surgery to ensure that they’ve removed all of the cancerous cells in a patient. cCeLL cuts down the surgery time and increases the efficiency of the surgery process. We’re hoping that cCeLL arrives on U.S. shores and gets FDA approval sometime soon.
#2 Green Wheel Global
Forget using recycled plastics, Green Wheel Global is going to change the world with tapioca. Yeh, you heard that right – the company is taking plant-based cassava and using it to create products that are typically composed of plastic.
The company produces a drop-in solution that can replace plastic in factories. This cassava-based solution is able to produce everything from the sole of sneakers to plastic bags and face masks. But unlike plastic which takes over a thousand years to break down, its material biodegrades in just a few years. Heck, it manages to biodegrade quicker than wood or paper – and it isn’t toxic.
Ultimately Green Wheel Global’s products are more sustainable than recycled plastics because recycled products can be only recycled so many times.
So how good is it? We personally handled some of their products and the material and quality felt nearly identical to plastic – sans the glossy finish that plastic typically has.
Our best of show goes to Mycel. This company is taking the mycelium in fungi that grows underground and is transforming it into leather products, as well as protein that can be turned into meat.
This may sound like something out of science fiction, but Mycel is making this happen right now. We touched and felt their Mycel ‘leather; and it looks and feels practically like the real thing.
Mycel says that if you replaced regular leather with mycelium leather, this would cut down carbon emissions by 90%. So ultimately, Mycel is good for both animals and the environment.
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