October 27, 2022

Korean Companies Demonstrate Their Innovative Tech Solutions at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022

TechCrunch Disrupt resumed its in-person event in San Francisco from Oct. 18th-20th, 2022. The conference's purpose is to bring together the global startup community to discover insights, collaborate, and celebrate achievements that have defined each founder's journey and for those yet to come in the future. At the invitation of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), a state-funded trade and investment promotion agency operated by the South Korean government, I had the opportunity to visit the conference's Korea Pavilion and meet with startup founders and their colleagues. Among the 20 great companies that demonstrated their innovative products and services at the pavilion, which was co-hosted by the Korea International Trade Research Institute (KITRI), there are a few are worth mentioning based on my professional and personal interests (the program book containing a description of all 20 companies may be viewed here).

Cochl created an artificial intelligence (AI) platform specializing in ambient sound recognition. Use cases include public safety (faster response to shooting incidents, vandalism detection for buildings, and violence prevention by scream/yell monitoring), traffic monitoring (automatic car accident report and illegal car honking noise monitoring), and autonomous driving (ambulance and police car siren detection for giving right-of-way action and car window break monitoring). Another valuable use case is in the defense sector by using smart glasses with gunshot analysis, submarine and torpedo type analysis, and surrounding environment monitoring with unmanned ground vehicles.

Dabeeo provides global geospatial information based on AI/ML (machine learning) technology by reading and interpreting the earth to help customers build or modify digital maps. Its STUDIO for maps is a SaaS platform that makes creating, editing, and managing map data convenient and intuitive to use. This website provides several examples of how retailers, showrooms, factories, stadiums, and exhibition centers are using the cloud-based platform.

TheWaveTalk developed a technology that uses laser multi-scattering and deep learning to measure foreign substances in water with great precision. Through the technology, they developed a home water quality meter called the WaTalk, which scatters light inside the water using a laser and analyzes small signals of fine particles such as bacteria, virus, organic pollutants, and microplastics to determine the degree of contamination. The company says its product is 20-50 times cheaper than professional measuring equipment.

Image: Willog
 is simplifying the complex cold chain industry. (A cold chain is a low temperature-controlled supply chain network.) The company's patent-based monitoring device collects various data during the entire logistics process, and displays it on a QR code. Willog's data monitoring device, the One Time QR (OTQ), which can be placed on vehicles, shipping containers or pallets, allows instant confirmation of temperature records by scanning the QR code with a smartphone camera and does not require other training or equipment. Effective field operation response is possible without extra time or procedures spent between the driver and the personnel to check the temperature. Where the device cannot be physically retrieved, Willog's OTQ-N uses near-field communication (NFC) to facilitate logistics monitoring within a flexible environment.

While KOTRA provides a useful service in the promotion of trade and investment with 128 Korea Business Centers located in 84 countries, the agency also facilitates global people-to-people exchange and technological exchange. I appreciate having the opportunity to meet with ambitious startup leaders who are building companies that improve the way we live, work, and play.

Aaron Rose is a board member, corporate advisor, and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of GT Perspectives, an online forum focused on turning perspective into opportunity.

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