UNIST has announced that six of its startup companies have been selected to partake in the Tech Incubator Program for Startup (TIPS) by the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS). These companies include, RecensMedical Inc., U2MedTek Inc., EgoVid Inc., Frontier Energy Solution Inc., Feel the Same Inc., and SuPine Therapeutics Inc.
Tech Incubator Program for Startups (TIPS) is a technology startup support program, initiated by the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) to promote private investments on startups. TIPS offers startups with business incubation spaces through consortiums with universities and research institutes. The primary purpose of this program is to promote and support talent related to technological innovation where the startup could not grow their business due to a lack of funding or a fear of failure. An estimated budget of 100 billion won has been invested in this program, this year.
TIPS currently provides supports for 364 startup teams who hope to expand their business on a global level but are faced with financial limitations. As of December 2017, the program has appointed and designated 38 successful venture founders―who are now angel investors and leaders of technological enterprises―as the incubators and accelerators of those startup companies. Through TIPS, companies will receive R&D grants up to five-fold the amount of investments from pre-qualified angel investors. In addition to amplifying early angel investments, TIPS offers seamless service encompassing angel investor networking, company incubation, mentoring, and matching R&D funds.
Through consortiums with Sunbo Angel Partners, Ulsan Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, and Busan Techno Park, UNIST has been selected as a TIPS company in 2016. Later, Sunbo Angel Partners Co., Ltd. has moved into UNIST. Since then, it has been supporting the technology commercialization and the growth of new businesses at UNIST.
Most notable among those selected for TIPS is, RecensMedical Inc. by Professor Gun-Ho Kim in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at UNIST. Founded in 2016, RecensMedical Inc. is the first venture company in Ulsan, selected for TIPS. Besides, it has been also selected as the first U-TECH Valley company and received 1 billion KRW investment and 2 billion KRW financial guarantees from KIBO. With the help of this support, the company hopes to accelerate the commercialization of its rapid cooling anesthesia for not only the painless intravitreal injection therapy and the standard care for rapidly growing retinal diseases, but also painless laser therapies and needle injections in dermatology.
Professor Jeong Beom Kim in the School of Life Sciences at UNIST has started a biotech startup, called SuPine Therapeutics Inc. where he promotes the commercialization of the treatment patch in treating patients with spinal cord injuries. This breakthrough has been selected as the grand prize winner of the ‘2nd U-STAR Competition’, an Accelerating Program of Ulsan Creative Economy Innovation Center, which led to him winning a Minister prize. Professor Joonbum Bae in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at UNIST, founder of Feel the Same Inc., is currently focusing on the development of wearable assistive devices for motor rehabilitation, using its innovative wearable robotics technology.
Frontier Energy Solutions Inc. by Professor Sang-Il Seok in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST is a startup, dedicated to bring the Perovskite solar cell to our life by providing energy in every corner of the world. Professor Hyun Jong Yang in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNIST, co-founder of EgoVid Inc., currently focuses on the development of Privacy Preserving Artificial Intelligence Technology. With the recent technology transfer from Professor Sung Chul Bae in the School of Life Sciences at UNIST, U2MedTek Inc. aims to commercialize innovative medical imaging devices and algorithms to aid in the diagnosis of sinus infection.
“TIPS, which benchmarked Israel’s startup support program, is an excellent program that provides business incubation spaces for entrepreneurs who hope to expand their business on a global level but are faced with financial limitations,” says President Mooyoung Jung of UNIST. “This selection will help to accelerate the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies developed at UNIST.”
In addition to TIPS, UNIST, in cooperation with Ulsan city, has attracted investments from Mirae Holdings, Ltd., INNOPOLIS Foundation, Korea Industrial Technology Association (KOITA), and Ulsan Economic Promotion Agency. As of 2017, the total amounts up to 16 billion won. With the Office of University Industry Relations as the center, UNIST seeks to attract more investments for the commercialization of promising technologies.