Dec 3, 2020

Startup Junkie Consulting Launches Arkansas Korea Alliance to Bolster International Relationship

Entrepreneurial Support Organization Partners with International Trade Association

Fayetteville-based entrepreneurial support organization Startup Junkie Consulting has partnered with the Korean International Trade Association (KITA) to conduct startup testbed initiatives with Korean tech companies in Northwest Arkansas. Dubbed the Arkansas Korea Alliance (AKA), the partnership is the first joint startup program between Korea and Northwest Arkansas and will directly connect international startups to blue chip clients and domestic venture capital firms. 

The alliance partners announced their first United States testbed cohort of Korean technology startups today. The cohort is made up of 11 companies with approximately $32 million in funding raised to date. 

“Creating a strong bridge between the Northwest Arkansas venture ecosystem and strategic partners in Seoul, South Korea can be a game changer for both regions,” said Startup Junkie Consulting Founder and Managing Director Jeff Amerine. “We see this as a first tangible step in building a robust two-way bridge for innovative Korean ventures looking for a North American gateway and for United States ventures looking for an Asian Pacific gateway.  We are excited about the future prospects for both regions.”

Startup Junkie will leverage unique geographic positioning with South Korea to provide a gateway of opportunities for proof of concept product trials and other business-to-business collaboration opportunities for world-class Korean startups ready to enter the United States market. Startup Junkie will facilitate the product offerings of Korean startups to retailers and partner enterprises in the U.S., and the partnership will provide information sharing on the venture environment of both countries as well as an exchange of startup support, funding, and deal sourcing in the United States, South Korea and Asia-Pacific regions.

“There is a surplus of world class startups thriving domestically in Korea, and many of them have matured to become true global competitors with solutions that any international enterprise would want to get their hands on,” said Louis Diesel, Startup Junkie Consulting’s Head of Asia. “Combining that with Startup Junkie’s HQ being in Northwest Arkansas, and all the great enterprise relationships on our side, this partnership brings a geographic arbitrage situation with in-house teams on the ground both in the U.S. and in Korea.”  

Startup Junkie was also recently added to the Innobranch partner list, an open innovation platform launched by KITA that supports global open innovation by providing multi-lateral connections between and among startups, VCs, and large/medium sized enterprises. Innobranch enables scouting of best matching startup partners and collaboration between global corporations and startups worldwide. Other partners on the list include high-profile organizations such as GE Ventures, BMW Startup Garage and RISE.


The alliance’s first cohort is made up of the following companies: 

Lounge Lab – Mooin Sanghei is an unmanned store augmented with A.I. allowing customers to experience “grab and go’ when buying.

Mobidoo – Mobidoo’s Sauce is both a live commerce platform and solution designed to facilitate customer shopping in live streaming contents, while providing live commerce functions for clients as a SaaS.

Nota – Nota compresses AI models making AI smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient. Nota provides edge-device AI solutions that remove the need for any server or cloud computing.

OddConcepts – OddConcepts recommends products and outfits that consumers WILL like, not may like. OC uses machine learning technologies to recognize, analyze and search images for fashion styling. The number of monthly unique users tops 9 million.

PiQuant – PiQuant provides a portable food & beverage contamination checking device using spectroscopy-based detectors.

PureSpace – PureSpace  frees your storage area from pollutants, reduces fruit losses, reduces inventory risk and provides extra freshness for retail customers.

SeaVantage – Providing Predicted Time of Arrival (PTA), SeaVantage is a maritime data expert developing and supplying innovative solutions based on big data and AI.

SolidWare – SolidWare’s DAVinCI LABS, an auto-ML solution at your fingertips enable enterprises to generate high performing prediction models by discovering complex and hidden patterns lie within the data that users already have.

SSenStone – SSenStone provides a new generation authentication / identification tech, OTAC, that allows businesses to identify its users without relying on traditional authentication techs (ID/PW, RSA keys, Tokens)

WeavAir – WeavAir offers proactive end-to-end software & hardware solution for air distribution systems that prevents the spread of air contamination and infection, while saving energy and reducing operational and maintenance costs.

Wright Brothers – Wright Brothers gives platform users confidence with bike certifications using Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) with X-ray to verify integrity of frames & fair valuations using Big Data, AI, and Data Analytics.

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