Go to contents

‘Korean startups should become small multinational companies’

‘Korean startups should become small multinational companies’

Posted July. 17, 2013 08:09,   


“Korean startups should become ‘small multinational companies on their own.’”

Levy Shapiro, a senior organizer of the “Ad and Social Tech Summit,” the largest IT media conference in Israel, made these and other remarks to this reporter at the “D Camp,” a startup assistance center in Yeoksam-dong in Seoul’s Gangnam District on Tuesday. He said, “Korean startups are competitive because they are enjoying outstanding mobile network environment, and strong technological capacity.”

Israeli American, Shapiro is working as investor and business consultant, moving back and forth to and from Israel and the U.S. Advising SK Planet regarding Israel and Silicon Valley, he developed relationship with Korean companies. He decided to invite six to eight Korean startup companies that D Camp is nurturing to his annual conference.

Shapiro emphasized Korean startups should not be contained within the narrow domestic market. He thus suggests that while conducting research and development activities by mobilizing talented human resources within Korea, they should move to Silicon Valley as soon as they complete development, attract investment and conduct marketing there.

He singled out Flitto as the best example among Korean startups. Flitto is a social translation platform, on which its members worldwide immediately translate into their own languages when celebrities upload posts on social network services such as Twitter. “With only three staff members, Flitto went to London, the U.K. to build up network and is engaged in sales and marketing in the U.S. After all, it attracted Google as its customer. It is better than NHN.”

Citing Flitto as an example, he said “It is very important (for startups) to participate in overseas expositions, and experience the market and customers.”

As for qualities required for startup entrepreneurs, he singled out persistence. If metaphorically applied to business startups, it means that entrepreneurs can achieve success if they get market eval‍uation instantly, and repeatedly engage in trials and errors despite failures by banking on the undaunted spirit to restart.

“Unlike Japanese people who tend to be laid back, Koreans, who are short tempered, have strong venture entrepreneurship,” Shapiro said. “It is similar to “combina,” character of the Israeli people.” Combina means “combine” in Spanish. But the word more often used to mean “resolve, and think of an idea” in Israel.