The Demo Day of the ‘2023 Smart Maritime Logistics Unicon Contest,’ organized by UNIST and Ulsan Port Authority (UPA), took place at Paradise Hotel Busan on September 19, 2023.
This Demo Day serves as an event for an interim evaluation of the ‘2023 Smart Maritime Logistics Unicon Contest.’ Participating organizations included HHS Co., Ltd., WOL Co., Ltd., ROVIGOS Inc., Marine Drone Tech Inc., Sudivelophus Co., Ltd., SSVT Co., Ltd., Whale Tail Co. Ltd., and Solar Turbines. These companies were pre-selected after thorough evaluation of documentation and presentations in June. Venture investment companies and officials from the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund participated as judges to evaluate the performance and growth potential of these 10 companies.
The Smart Maritime Logistics Unicorn Test is a competition that supports commercialization funding to facilitate the growth and establishment of early-stage startups during their critical phase. The two best companies will be selected in October this year based on the combined results of the interim evaluation and the final evaluation. The Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Award and prize money will be presented to the winning companies.
This year’s competition, held for the first time, sought startups in six areas, including △ Port Digitalization, △ Port Data Platform, △ Smart Port Infrastructure, △ Smart Safety Management, △ Energy & Environment, and △ Legal and Regulatory Innovation. A total of 300 million won in commercialization funds is being provided to the 10 selected companies.
“We have recognized immense potential in the participating companies this year,” stated Young Rok Choi, Dean of UNIST Graduate School of Technology and Innovation Management. “Through the establishment of a sustainable win-win cooperation system with the government and regions, we will continue to discover and nurture promising startups in the maritime logistics sector.”
In the meantime, UNIST and Ulsan Port Authority are jointly operating a startup support project, backed by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, with the aim of creating a global smart maritime logistics innovation ecosystem. Over the past four years, a total of 100 startups have been identified through an open innovation method that provides external mentoring, and ongoing commercialization support is being provided to 42 promising companies.