Korea’s SparkLabs Names Its 4th Startup Intake
South Korea’s SparkLabs accelerator has named its fourth intake — including its first Internet of Things startup (a company making connected flower pots); its first startup from China, a mobile healthcare startup; along with one U.S. business in the marketing automation space.
This continues the more international flavor of the program’s recent years vs its inaugural intake, back in 2012, which consisted of South Korean companies hoping to break into overseas markets.
There were more non-Korean startups (four out of a total of nine) in last year’s SparkLabs’ batch, compared to two this time. However co-founder Bernard Moon told TechCrunch that overall the incubator had more international applications this year — noting that startups from over 20 countries applied to take part. SparkLabs received around 220 applications in total for the program, he added.
There are ten startups in the 2014 cohort in all. Each will be put through SparkLabs’ three month mentoring program, with teams receiving $25,000 apiece in funding in exchange for up to 6% equity.
In terms of business stage, as with prior intakes, the 2014 cohort ranges from nascent bootstrapping startups with only an alpha product to their name, to more mature businesses that have shipped product and raised a couple of million in funding already.
SparkLabs held its third demo day back in April, which included startups making wearable technology, medical devices, and mobile games. The fourth intake covers businesses in the Internet of Things, healthcare and social enterprise space.
There’s more of a hardware thread emerging in this year’s batch, with three startups — Open21, N.Thing and Mobidoo — all building physical kit of some form, rather than pure-play software.
Here’s the full list of ten startups in SparkLab’s 2014 intake:
HUD Technologies: HUD has developed a new technology to render 3D-images of buildings by just using floor plans. They utilize algorithmic modeling instead of other methods, such as using panoramic cameras, to generate an image of the complete building.
Open21: The founder is a serial entrepreneur who has created a potentially revolutionary touch sensor for smartphones, TVs, and other electronics. There is no need for physical buttons with Open21’s electric field that surrounds the device or appliance.
Tree Planet: Tree Planet is a virtual tree planting game that has resulted in real trees being planted in the world. So far over 472,000 trees in 46 forests in 9 countries have been planted.
Beacon Family Doctor: A startup based in Chengdu, China that plans to enhance healthcare services in the region. They have a mobile application that connects urban households with doctors for one-time or long-term medical services.
Vengine: Vengine is building a web platform providing a hiring solution for startups that aims to tackle the lack of trust, insufficient information, and simplicity while building a standard of best practices and encouraging company culture.
Stayes: The company connects unrented flats with expats on extended stays in Korea. Unlike Airbnb, Stayes is focused on business travelers.
N.thing: N.thing seeks to connect people to the green things in life. Their primary product is Planty, an internet connected flower pot. They have a complimentary app that records your “green life” with a smart gardening diary.
Onnuri DMC: A new data management platform for mobile advertising. Their product, CrossTarget, is attempting to tackle the difficult problem of cross-platform mobile retargeting.
Mobidoo: Mobidoo provides an “easy and convenient” mobile loyalty stamp service to consumers and retail stores — aiming to replace paper loyalty cards and ink stamps with an electronic stamp that works with smartphones.
BuyFi: BuyFi analyzes credit card purchasing behavior of customers and automatically triggers a series of ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ marketing programs to convert one-time visitors into multi-visit loyal customers. Currently the company serves over 10,000 merchants through its payment processor partnerships.