Local venture companies in Ulsan, aiming to become unicorn companies, recently had the opportunity to connect with potential investors at the highly anticipated ‘UNIST X ATP Unicorn Shooting Day‘ event. Organized by UNIST Holdings Co., Ltd. and ATP Ventures, it took place on September 21 at the UNIST University-Industry Cooperation Building Market Hall.
The primary objective of this event was to encourage investments in promising local venture companies and showcase the investment performance of the UNIST-ATP Investment Association Fund.
Launched in 2022, the UNIST-ATP Investment Association Fund is a joint investment fund between UNIST Holdings and APT Ventures, a local venture investment company.
The ‘UNIST X ATP Unicorn Shooting Day‘ featured corporate investor relations (IR) presentations, an introduction to the UNIST-ATP Fund, and guidance on fostering the Ulsan regional start-up ecosystem.
Several companies, which have received investments from the UNIST-ATP fund, participated in the IR presentations, providing an opportunity to showcase outstanding venture companies in the region. Among the participating companies were Nexterials Co., Ltd., Pyler Co., Ltd., Pireco Co., Ltd., and BOS Semiconductors Co., Ltd.
Nexterials Co., Ltd., founded by Professor Hyeon Suk Shin (Graduate School of Semiconductor Materials and Devices Engineering, UNIST), specializes in two-dimensional semiconductor material source technology. Pyler, a UNIST student startup company, is a leader in the AI-based customized advertising market and has already attracted over 7 billion won in investments. Pireco, another UNIST student startup company, has developed an international standard for their multi-biometrics identification solution for companion animals in collaboration with Dr. Jae-Sung Kim of the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA). Pireco provides entity identification solutions based on nose pattern recognition.
BOS Semiconductors Co., Ltd., a fabless start-up, focuses on designing semiconductors for vehicles. The company recently gained recognition for its technological excellence and received investment from Hyundai Motor. BOS Semiconductors was founded by CEO Jaehong Park, a former vice president of Samsung Electronics.
SuPine Therapeutics Inc., a UNIST faculty start-up company, also participated in the company IR presentations. Led by Professor Jeong Beom Kim, SuPine Therapeutics develops gel for treating spinal cord injuries. The UNIST-ATP Investment Association Fund is considering SuPine Therapeutics for its next investment review.
During the event, plans for the formation of the UNIST-ATP Investment Association No. 2 Fund were unveiled. The first fund has already raised a total of 4.2 billion won and has invested in eight companies, including UNIST faculty startups.
In addition to investment-focused activities, policy support projects were introduced to revitalize the startup ecosystem in Ulsan. The Ulsan Business Promotion Institution (UBPI) presented the ‘Private Support Project for Revitalizing New Technology Startups,’ as part of the Local Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Project for Ulsan.
UNIST Holdings Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of UNIST, was established in 2017 to invigorate technology start-ups with advanced research results from UNIST.
Soon-Yong Kwon, CEO of UNIST Holdings, expressed his commitment, saying, “We will build a virtuous cycle ecosystem that invests local venture capital in promising local startups around UNIST, so that the southeast region can be reborn as a venture hub comparable to Silicon Valley.”