The “2023 Smart Maritime Logistics UNICORN Startup Contest” has concluded its five-month-long journey on November 1, 2023. UNIST and Ulsan Port Authority (UPA) held the final evaluation meeting in Haeundae, Busan and awarded the winning team.
The “Smart Maritime Logistics UNICORN Startup Contest” is a specialized startup competition in the maritime logistics field. Launched this year, the contest aimed to assist early-stage startups in their growth and establishment within the first eight years of operation. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and organized by UNIST and UPA.
A total of 17 companies applied for the competition, out of which 10 were selected through a rigorous evaluation process. The selected companies participated in a comprehensive program that included business and technology mentoring, mission execution, startup lectures, and an IR Demo Day. These activities took place over a span of 19 weeks, from June to October, 2o23.
During the final evaluation on November 1, ten companies showcased innovative technologies in the logistics sector and highlighted their achievements resulting from the program’s implementation.
After careful screening by venture investment companies and officials from the Center for Creative Economy Innovation (CCEI), four outstanding teams were selected as winners.
YOL Inc. secured the grand prize, while HHS Inc. received the top prize. Both winners were honored with the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Award, along with prize money of 5 million won and 3 million won, respectively. ROVIGOS Inc. and Marine Drone Tech Inc. were awarded the Excellence Award and the Encouragement Award, respectively. The winners of the Excellence Award received 2 million won in prize money, while the winners of the Encouragement Award were granted the UNIST Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management Dean’s Award along with 1 million won in prize money.
Dean Youngrock Choi of UNIST Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management, the organizer of the competition, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “This event provided an excellent opportunity to discover startups with exceptional capabilities in the maritime logistics sector. We will continue to nurture potential startups capable of leading innovation and driving change in the smart maritime logistics industry.”
Moreover, the top three teams among the winners will receive support to participate in Europort 2023, a major international maritime event held in Rotterdam, a world-renowned port city in the Netherlands from November 7 to 10, 2023. UNIST and UPA will cover the expenses for a total of four companies, including the winners of this competition, enabling outstanding startup companies to showcase their products and services, explore new buyers, and enter the global market. Additionally, a dedicated session will be arranged at the fair to promote these companies and share the achievements of practical maritime logistics job support projects.