This event also commemorated 50 years of diplomatic ties between South Korea and India
New Delhi: For the second consecutive year, The Circle: Founders Club (The Circle FC), Business accelerator for Indian startups and soft-landing platform for foreign scaleups in India, has effectively supported a cohort of 10 innovative South Korean startups from health tech, HR tech, SaaS, and travel tech verticals.
The group of founders this year represented a cross-section of industries and achievements. NomadHer empowers female travellers worldwide and is recognized by the UNWTO, while McKinley Rice offers a solution for verifying job applicants’ backgrounds, reducing the verification time for companies. LabSD, Inc. is a social enterprise providing global health solutions through its EYELIKE Platform, enabling health workers to conduct proper retinal exams using AI and recycled smartphones.
The cohort also included LeeBridge, offering engineering solutions for piping and support modelling programs; Diveroid (Artisan&Ocean), providing smart scuba gear that turns a smartphone into all-in-one diving equipment; DBridge, building a global Med-Tech platform with features of community building, e-commerce, and education; Seoul Station, a newly launched café in New Delhi serving authentic Korean street food and beverages; AirLab, specialising in nasal research and offering the Nose Mask Nose Air Clean; Simple Lyfe, producing sustainable packaging materials which lower environmental impact; and DenQ, which manufactures cross-functional and affordable dental implants.
During the 4-month program, the startups signed 18 MoUs, went through 500+ hours of mentoring, more than 200+ one-on-one meetings, registered 7 companies, set up local offices, and participated in 10+ top-tier events such as NASSCOM Engineering & Design Summit, World Dental Show (Mumbai), Medical (Delhi), AOMSI (Delhi) and various other ecosystem meet-ups. The in-person demo day was held at The Circle. Work in Gurugram on 23rd November and saw enthusiastic participation from 200+ stakeholders including notable investors, academia, government bodies, corporates, and local entrepreneurs.
Rajiv Bathla, CEO of The Circle said “The KSC India 2023 Demo Day was not just a showcase of innovation; but a celebration of the enduring collaboration between South Korea and India. These startups exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship that knows no borders, and today, we witness the convergence of vision and opportunity on this stage.”
“As India is poised to become the 3rd largest economy by 2030, the coming years are going to bring the golden era of cross-border collaboration and partnership for innovation and sustainable growth. At The Circle FC, we’re not just fostering businesses; we’re building an ecosystem that strengthens ties, fosters cross-cultural understanding and propels the shared vision of global entrepreneurship,” added Nemesisa Ujjain, VP – Innovation, The Circle FC.
The K-Startup Centre (KSC), a startup support program initiated by the Korea Institute of Startups & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED) under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, has partnered with The Circle FC for the second consecutive year to organise this initiative. The KSC program is run across 8 countries including India, USA, France, Israel, Vietnam, Singapore, Finland, and Sweden.
As the accelerator partner in India, The Circle FC has provided a thriving ecosystem for learning, peer knowledge exchange, hands-on assistance, and network building for entrepreneurs. They have helped these companies comprehend the dynamic Indian market, understand the competitive landscape, as well as how to navigate the regulatory, tax, and legal environment. They organised deep dive sessions to discuss hiring and local human resource practices for their current & future recruitment needs.
India is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for international startups eyeing global expansion, drawn by its vast population and diverse markets. There is immense potential for Indian and foreign startups to collaborate, creating mutually beneficial relationships.