Paris, France - Last week, VivaTech 2023 unfolded as a vibrant celebration of entrepreneurship, technological advancements, and international collaboration. As the "Country of the Year", Korea took center stage, showcasing over 40 Korean startups, including Deep Block, a pioneering company in geospatial AI, which unveiled its groundbreaking technologies and explored exciting opportunities across various industries.
Lee Young, Korean Minister for SMEs. Photo credit: VivaTech
Under the banner of the "Country of the Year", Korea showcased its exceptional startup environment, backed by outstanding unicorn startups and dynamic IT companies that have collectively attracted approximately $10 billion in investments as of 2022. The opening ceremony witnessed the inspiring keynote speech delivered by Minister LEE Young from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS). With unwavering determination, Minister LEE emphasized the significance of connecting startup ecosystems worldwide and outlined plans to foster deep tech startups while supporting global expansion and foreign startups.
'The Poppin' Korean Startup Ecosystem, Fleur Pellerin, CEO of Korelya Capital, Lim Jung-wook, Deputy Minister of the Startup and Venture Innovation Office at MSS, and Sophie Eom, CEO of Adriel Inc. Photo credit: VivaTech
At VivaTech, the panel discussion titled 'The Poppin' Korean Startup Ecosystem shed light on Korea's remarkable growth in the startup sphere. Distinguished speakers, including Lim Jung-wook, Deputy Minister of the Startup and Venture Innovation Office at MSS, Fleur Pellerin, CEO of Korelya Capital, and Sophie Eom, CEO of Adriel Inc., dived into the development process of Korea's startup ecosystem, reinforcing the nation's position as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Emmanuel Macron, French President. Photo credit: VivaTech
France, under the leadership of President Macron, also unveiled an ambitious plan to boost the country's AI and tech startup ecosystem. Macron, a strong advocate of the "startup nation" vision, used VivaTech as a platform to emphasize France's determination to become a frontrunner in the AI revolution. He announced new funding initiatives of €500 million to create AI champions and support projects that prioritize French-language language models. Macron's focus on nurturing AI expertise through training centers of excellence further solidifies France's commitment to technological advancement.
Moreover, Macron addressed the importance of striking a balance between AI regulation and investment, highlighting the need for Europe to invest substantially in AI rather than rushing into regulation without adequate resources. By fostering a vibrant AI industry while implementing responsible regulations, France aims to position itself as a formidable force in AI technology in Europe.
Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korean President. Photo credit: Deep Block
President Yoon Suk Yeol also played a significant role in echoing President Macron's vision for fostering a strong AI industry. During his visit to Station F, the world's largest startup campus, President Yoon engaged in discussions with French and Korean youth under the theme "Coffee with the President: Freedom and Solidarity as a Force for Innovation." He highlighted the importance of continuous innovation rooted in freedom and solidarity to address global challenges, including supply chain disruptions, the energy crisis, and digital divides. Station F, a symbol of internationalism and innovation, serves as a hub where young people from around the world collaborate, exchange ideas, and drive technological advancements.
President Yoon's commitment to international solidarity and cooperation grounded in universal values was evident in his plans to promote membership in Horizon Europe and sign agreements such as the Korea-European Union Green Partnership and the Korea-EU Digital Partnership. By actively engaging the Korean government in fostering innovation, President Yoon aims to overcome global crises and position Korea as a leader in the AI industry.
Gwihwan Moon, Founder & CEO of Omnis Labs, Creator of Deep Block. Photo credit: Deep Block
As Deep Block leverages the momentum gained from VivaTech 2023, it aligns with President Yoon's vision of internationalism and innovation. The company remains dedicated to driving technological advancements and spearheading geospatial solutions that transcend borders and reshape industries. Deep Block embraces the principles of freedom and solidarity as it continues to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, guided by the universal values of innovation, collaboration, and impact.