Brightonix Imaging received the Innovation Start-up Korea Award granted by the Minister of Science and ICT
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Six start-ups win Innovation Start-up Korea Awards
The JoongAng Ilbo, KAIST and Seoul National University (SNU) jointly launched an annual conference to instill entrepreneurship into Korea's business scene and recognize young tech firms with high growth potential.
In the first International Symposium on 'Korea, the Country of Innovation and Start-ups' Tuesday, six Korean start-ups won awards for their innovative approach towards business.
The three sponsors plan to host the symposium every year at the end of the year, based on an agreement signed in October.
The Tuesday event brought together entrepreneurship specialists, including Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, and Scott Stern, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Also present were JoongAng Holdings Chairman Hong Seok-hyun, Science Minister Lee Jong-ho, KAIST President Lee Kwang-hyung and SNU President Oh Se-Jung.
Bio start-ups Tomocube and Brightonix Imaging won the Innovation Start-up Korea Award granted by the science minister.
Tomocube develops high-performance laboratory microscopes using a technique called holotomography, while Brightonix Imaging has an expertise on medical imaging analysis.
Quantum Cat, a Daejeon-based firm specializing in the use of gold as a catalyst, won the award given by the SNU president.
FriendliAI, a start-up offering services that facilitate artificial intelligence analytics, grabbed the award granted by the president of KAIST. The Innovation Start-up Korea Award given by the JoongAng Holdings chairman went to Recense Medical, which makes medical devices designed for cooling cells. Pinotbio, a provider of anticancer drug technology, took home the award given by the head of National Research Council on Science & Technology.
In a welcome speech, Chairman Hong shared a story of former Israel President Shimon Peres, who is credited with propelling Israel into a hub for innovation and high-tech start-ups.
“Nestled in the southern part of Tel Aviv, a building with floor-to-ceiling windows – Peres Center for Peace and Innovation – stood near the Mediterranean Sea. The center features how Israel transformed into the home to innovative start-ups,” Hong said.
“As a country with 9 million people, Israel is battered by conflicts with neighboring Islamic countries, and poor in resources, with half of the land in the state of desert,” Hong said, “The only resource was the people, which became the basis of the miracle,” he said.
The chairman went on to stress the importance of efficiently turning breakthrough ideas into viable business opportunities.
“The problem is the so-called R&D paradox,” Hong said, “Many stellar research feats failed to grow into new growth engines."
To resolve the problem, Korea needs to embrace the spirit of the first mover, according to the KAIST President Lee.
“Korea should go beyond following other advanced countries,” Lee said, “We need a transformation to become a leading nation through research and development and the building of innovative companies.”
Science Minister Lee vowed to provide more support for nurturing high-tech start-ups.
“We will foster a deeper tie between public research institutions and private institutions and amend regulations standing in the way of entrepreneurs’ efforts to run their businesses,” he said.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]