For the second consecutive year, The Circle: Founders Club (The Circle FC), a business accelerator for Indian startups and soft-landing platform for foreign scaleups in India, has successfully supported a cohort of 10 innovative South Korean startups. These startups operate in various verticals, including health tech, HR tech, SaaS, and travel tech.
This year’s group of founders represented various industries and achievements. NomadHer, which focuses on empowering female travellers worldwide, holds recognition from the UNWTO. McKinley Rice provides a solution for verifying job applicants’ backgrounds, reducing verification time for companies. LabSD, Inc., a social enterprise, offers global health solutions through its EYELIKE Platform, enabling health workers to conduct proper retinal exams using AI and recycled smartphones.
The cohort also included LeeBridge, offering engineering solutions for piping and support modelling programs; Diveroid (Artisan&Ocean), providing smart scuba gear that turns a smartphone into all-in-one diving equipment; DBridge, building a global Med-Tech platform with features of community building, e-commerce, and education; Seoul Station, a newly launched café in New Delhi serving authentic Korean street food and beverages; AirLab, specializing in nasal research and offering the Nose Mask Nose Air Clean; Simple Lyfe, producing sustainable packaging materials which lower environmental impact; and DenQ, which manufactures cross-functional and affordable dental implants.
During the 4-month program, the startups forged 18 MoUs, underwent 500+ hours of mentoring, engaged in over 200+ one-on-one meetings, established 7 companies, set up local offices, and took part in 10+ prominent events like NASSCOM Engineering & Design Summit, World Dental Show (Mumbai), Medical (Delhi), AOMSI (Delhi), and various other ecosystem meet-ups.
The in-person demo day it occurred at The Circle Work in Gurugram on 23rd November, drawing enthusiastic participation from 200+ stakeholders, including notable investors, academia, government bodies, corporates, and local entrepreneurs.
Rajiv Bathla, CEO of The Circle, said, “The KSC India 2023 Demo Day was not just a showcase of innovation; but a celebration of the enduring collaboration between South Korea and India. These startups exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship that knows no borders, and today, we witness the convergence of vision and opportunity on this stage.”
“As India is poised to become the 3rd largest economy by 2030, the coming years are going to bring the golden era of cross-border collaboration and partnership for innovation and sustainable growth. At The Circle FC, we’re not just fostering businesses; we’re building an ecosystem that strengthens ties, fosters cross-cultural understanding and propels the shared vision of global entrepreneurship,” added Nemesisa Ujjain, VP – Innovation, The Circle FC.
For the second consecutive year, The K-Startup Centre (KSC), a startup support program launched by the Korea Institute of Startups & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED) under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, collaborated with The Circle FC to orchestrate this endeavour. The KSC program operates across 8 countries, encompassing India, the USA, France, Israel, Vietnam, Singapore, Finland, and Sweden.
Serving as the accelerator partner in India, The Circle FC has fostered a vibrant ecosystem for learning, peer knowledge exchange, hands-on assistance, and network building for entrepreneurs. They played a crucial role in helping these companies grasp the nuances of the dynamic Indian market, comprehend the competitive landscape, and navigate the regulatory, tax, and legal environment. Additionally, they organized in-depth sessions to address hiring and local human resource practices to meet current and future recruitment needs.