South Korean Start-ups Primed for Success

Published Thursday, 19th November 2015
Y Accelerator business entrepreneurs
The entrepreneurs celebrate completing the Y-Accelerator programme

The first teams of entrepreneurs have completed the Y-Accelerator programme in the Sheffield City Region.

Over 12 weeks, five innovative South Korean start-up teams have benefited from an intensive mentoring programme with the aim of fast-tracking ideas into high-growth businesses.

The Y-Accelerator has been delivered in partnership by Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), the University of Sheffield and South Korean trade organisation TRoom, with valuable support from Sheffield Hallam University and numerous public and private sector mentors.

The programme culminated in an investor pitch day, hosted at AESSEAL’s head office in Rotherham. The teams delivered a seven minute pitch and were questioned by a panel of judges and the audience which included a variety of potential investors and partners.

The judging panel was made up of Gordon Bridge, chairman and group director at AESSEAL PLC, Julie Kenny, chief executive, Pyronix Ltd, and Peter Sorsby, director of corporate banking, Royal Bank of Scotland.

After deliberation and an audience vote, Ultimate Drone was announced as winner, receiving £30k investment from the programme. Ultimate Drone is developing a revolutionary high-powered multi-rotor commercial drone with superior payload capacity, stability and endurance, outperforming existing platforms by a factor of three.

Changkeun Moon, CEO of Ultimate Drone said: “Before participating in the Y-Accelerator programme we developed great technology but we didn’t have a business. Now we have a strong business model and the confidence to realise our ambition of achieving a 10% share of the worldwide drone market.”

Amanda Parris, RiDO Business Centres Manager said: “All five teams have made significant progress in their short time here. All now have scalable business models and have received strong interest from potential investors or partners in the UK.  It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a dedicated group; they have been an inspiration.”

Rotherham Council’s Commissioner Julie Kenny said: “I was impressed by the quality of the pitches; choosing the winner was a close call.  I believe all the teams have the ability to develop successful businesses in the UK and I am pleased they have chosen Rotherham as the place to do it.”

The South Korean teams include; Day Tripper plan to bring a unique umbrella concept to market, combining a multifunctional handle with fashionable design; SucSeed are developing a high-tech product for the gardening market that integrates sensors and apps to connect people with their garden. Netalkers are developing a new online networking platform to facilitate face-to-face communication within membership organisations. Y&S Future have created an intelligent pill box which integrates hardware and software to monitor medicine adherence.

The Y-Accelerator would like to extend many thanks to all the companies and individuals who have assisted during the programme through mentoring and the delivery of workshops.