On Friday, September 12, entrepreneurs and investors from South Korea and the United States gathered at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, CA for ‘beGLOBAL 2014,’ the second annual “Global Tech Conference with a Korean touch.” 33 global founders and influential speakers, ten of the hottest startups from Korea, and a full of new insights and networking opportunities completed the day.
beGLOBAL 2014 is a platform for select Korean startups to acquire knowledge from seasoned entrepreneurs based in Silicon Valley. Representatives from Alto Ventures and Y Combinator, to name a few, were in attendance. However, the convention was also a space for U.S. investors and entrepreneurs to be introduced to Korea’s firepower and discover ways to gain access into Asian markets.
With the tech culture in South Korea being as invigorated as it has been, investors around the world are looking to place some stakes in it. The country is a home to quite a few ventures with “Unicorn” status (KakaoTalk, Coupang, and Ticket Monster included), granted to companies with a value of at least $1 billion.
Last year’s beGLOBAL conference proved to be quite successful in terms of startup expansion and media penetration. Korbit, a bitcoin exchange platform and one of last year’s ten startups, has received enormous investments since. This year, Vingle, a social networking platform that connects people with similar interests, was proven to have great potential. Panels of judges selected the company as the most promising startup this year of the ten companies attending. Neither investment nor sponsorship accompanied the superlative. However, Vingle CEO Jiwon Moon said the blessing would provide great momentum for the company in spirit.
Vingle was founded in 2011 and has since become a space for a global user base to share passions. Vingle has a friendly UI that allows users to share pictures, videos, and links in the form of “cards.” These cards can be curated as personal collections that are shared with friends or searched for by people with similar interests. Some sample collections include: “The Art of Food,” “Graphic Design for the Holiday Season,” “Electronic Music Behind the Scenes,” and “Marvelous Marriage Proposals.” Collections can be added to and edited, and all followers can keep up with updates.
The company has already received positive feedback from its users and investors alike. In July 2012, Vingle had one million registered users. At the end of this past month, the company boasted a membership of over four million users. The company, which is composed of a diverse staff, aims to create a global network for interpersonal exchange.