The Global K-Startup Competition Winners Get a Taste of London Startup Life

Last week Chinwag were lucky enough to be joined by Korea's top tech talent, the winners of the Google's Global K-Startup competition. The five lucky startups were treated to a week's tour of London's digital industry, including market briefings, pitch training, agency meetings, incubator tours and roundtables with industry experts. 

On Monday the group took a tour of the ever-expanding Tech City, organised by TCIO and Friday saw the group spend the day with some of the startups based at Campus London at TechHub, Seedcamp and Springboard. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were left in the capable hands of Chinwag's team.

So take a look at what they got up to...

Tuesday 6th November 

Tuesday kicked off with a visit to White Bear Yard, a group of entrepreneurs and operators who apply their experiences towards helping founders and early-stage teams build great digital media/technology companies. 

The group were met by Greg Young, Business Associate at Passion Capital who kindly gave the group a tour of the space as well as introducing General Assembly London (GA) who have recently opened their London campus on the top floor of White Bear Yard. GA gave the group an idea of some of the courses they run as well us showing the group the lovely roof top terrace they have. 

We were then very lucky to hear from Stefan Glaenzer, Founding Partner at Passion Capital who introduced the group to Passion Capital and talked about the work he does with some of the startups who are based at White Bear Yard.

The group then heard from some of the startups including James Gill, CEO at GoSquared, real-time analytics for your website. Alistair Hill, Managing Director at On Device Research, a research company using mobile devices and lastly Adnan Ebrahim, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Carthrottle, a startup making car discovery fun again.

The day's second visit saw the delegation drop-in to the new and very lovely Mozilla office. We were joined by John Bevan, Learning Partnerships Lead at Mozilla Foundation and Zac Campbell, Software QA at Mozilla Corporation.

John and Zac chatted about the Mozilla foundation, the UK tech and startup scene as well as some of the tech projects Mozilla are working on. The group were also showed the new “Moz Space” that the company offer for startups working on and with Mozilla projects.  

After a yummy Korean lunch we headed over to Campus London where the afternoon activities were taking place. We kicked off with a masterclass on how to prepare for an investment. The session was led by Andrew Bloom, Corporate Lawyer and Partner at Steptoe & Johnson

Next up was our very own Sam Michel who talked the group through the digital startup scene in the UK. We were then put into the very capable hands of Jemima Gibbons, Social Media Strategist who held a two hour in-depth pitching workshop, where the companies had the chance to perfect their 3-minute pitch and to get them ready for the evening's activity, the South Korea's Global K-Startups Pitch Event which was also held at Campus London

Wednesday 7th November 

Wednesday morning saw the group head over to Wayra, a unprecedented initiative that aims to achieve a significant impact on the economy. Ashley Stockwell, Academy Director at Wayra UK talked to the group about the very awesome Wayra programme and what they are doing with startups all around the world, after which he introduced three of the startups that are part of the UK Wayra programme. 

The group heard from PixelPin, a startup that provides the first level of authentication using pictures rather than passwords that provide an easy non technical way of securing mobile and web services. Epicurely, a platform for organizing and discovering dinner parties in your area. The company connects people who love food with each other and with products they love and finally Cloud 66, an innovative product that combines the convenience of Platform-as-a-Service with the control and flexibility of Infrastructure-as-a-Service. 

Next up was a visit to Pearson, the world's leading education company. Diana Stepner, Head of Future Technologies at Pearson introduced the company to the group and explained what cool things they were up to in the educational space. Diana then introduced some of her team from the Plug and Play programme who demoed some of the coolest and latest release in the Pearson API programme

The group then took a trip over to Paddington to visit the brand new Nokia HQ. Once inside we heard from Riaz Ahmed, Developer Outreach Manager at Nokia and Mobile Consultant, John Copper. Riaz and John talked about the new Lumia ‪Windows‬ ‪Phone‬ and went into detail about the developer programmes that Nokia offer.

The day came to an end with a briefing on Berlin. The group did not have time to visit Berlin to check out the startup scene there, so we thought we'd bring Berlin to them. First up we had Achim Hartig, Director Investor Consultant at Germany Trade and Invest . Achim gave the group an intro into doing business in Germany, what other companies are doing in the space. who are the big players and the what's going on in the market.

We then had some startup insight with the group hearing from Thomas Bachem, one of the founders of the Association of German Startups who gave a real insight into being a startup in Germany, the challenges you may face and the best ways around it, who to connect to in the German startup scene and some the best incubators to visit and work from in Berlin.

Thursday 8th November

Thursday morning saw one of the most intimate activites of the week, the VIP Breakfast Roundtable. The idea behind the roundtables is for each startup to get a one on one 15-minute session with an industry expert who can give them advice and insight into their startup ideas. So after a full English fry up we kicked things off. 

The five start-ups were very lucky to be joined by Mark McDermott, Owner of Codegent, Chipper Boulas, Investor and Business Builder at Boulas Ventures, Ruth Barnett, Head of Communications at SwiftKey, Helen Keegan, Mobile Media Specialist, Chrysanthos Chrysanthou, Business Development at Amazon and Mentor at Springboard, James Garner, Head of Web Technology at IPC Media, Frank Kelcz, Head of Media Technology Investments at SEB Venture Capital and Ella Weston, Director of Stream at WPP. 

After a two hour intense session full of alot of mind power the group headed off for a bit of brain food and grabbed some lunch. 

The final visit for the week was to the very cool Unruly Media Video Labs. The labs help brands and agencies to increase the ROI of their social video ad campaigns based on customised and exclusive insight. The group got a exculive tour of the labs by Jon Williams, Associate Director at Unruly Media and Daniel Best, Planning Director. 

Jon and Daniel helped the group understand why people share or don’t share videos as well as working out how to predict the social success of campaigns before they launch. 

Chinwag's week of planned activity was brought to a end by the final event, Seoul2Seoul - An Evening of Korean BBQ and Networking for UK and Korean Startups. The evening took place at the lovely Korean restaurant, Kimchee where the group and the invited guests spent the night munching on some delicious traditional Korean dishes such as Kimchee, Goho Mandu dumplings, grilled pork belly and seafood and tofu jjigae.

Be prepared for some delicious traditional Korean dishes such as Kimchee, Goho Mandu dumplings, grilled pork belly and seafood and tofu jjigae all washed down with the best Korean beer. And don't worry, if you don't know what anything is, luckily the Korean companies are pros and can help guide us through the menu.

As you can see the Korean startups were kept very busy while over in the UK, and experienced what life is like for a startup setting up on UK soil. The group have now headed off for a week in Silicon Valley to check out the scene there.

So now all that is left to say if a huge thank you to all the companies, agencies, startups, social media consultants and industry experts that were involved in the week - thank you for helping us show off how awesome London can be.

And to all our new Korean friends, who head off to spend a week in Silicon Valley, good luck in the US and we hope to see you back in London soon.