After a three-month acceleration program, four seasoned Korean startups pitched their businesses to the audience gathered at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai on 27th January. At this closed event were invited VCs, business partners and selected media from both countries. GSIIP (Global Startup Incubating Internship Program) is a three-month internship program, specifically designed to support market-proven Korean startups expanding to the global market. The program was sponsored by KISA and Startup Alliance and operated by NEOPLY China, providing local accelerator and investors’ professional mentorships for localization and legal, business developing consulting to startups. KISA and Startup Alliance signed a cooperative partnership with NEOPLY China in advance and co-developed the internship program for startups, aimed to expand into the Chinese market.

Jungwook Lim, managing director at Startup Alliance introduced proceeds of Korean Startup ecosystem and the country’s prospecting startups, followed by a panel discussion of Chinese investors and CEOs over the tips to entering the Chinese market. Finally, four Korean startups pitched on the demo day: MyRealTrip, StyleShare, SmartStudy, Bapul


If you’re planning on a trip to Korea, you can customize your time there with your own local guide through MyRealTrip. Founded in 2012, the company connects travelers and guides and become the best outbound service in Korea, operating in 214 cities around the world. After you apply and go through a video interview with the company, anyone can be a local guide. With guides independently developing their unique local tours, there are those operating full-time as well as part-time. MyRealTrip takes a 20% commission on fees paid to local guides and is building a new Chinese platform to embrace greater inbound travelers from China. The company has signed a partnership with Qunar to provide travel packages for Chinese tourists within its platform.


While fashion magazines and media overwhelm you with brand-new clothes and modern style tips, they often don’t help solve the essential question: “What should I wear today?” StyleShare is a mobile-based fashion beauty platform, embracing 1.3 million Korean fashionistas who share hot fashion items and tell you what brand they are. The fashion app has become a marketplace for small businesses to big fashion brands to vend their products as well as a source for businesses and customers to catch up on the latest trends. The app has gathered great interest from Japan and China with the rise of ‘Hanllyu’, the wave of interest led by Korean dramas and K-pop.


Founded on June 2010, SmartStudy is a global education content company which has developed a mobile platform for MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games and video-based interactive content. The company’s team members previously worked in children’s publishing, which has enabled them to create one-source multi-use themes for educational content. As the zeal for childrens education in China rivals that of Korea, SmartStudy aims to further expand its content to Chinese partners. The company has agreed to supply ‘PinkPong’ content to China’s major IPTV company WASU. Also, the company is about to release apps for Chinese mobiles such as 360 and Xiaomi.


Learning is a serious process, and can be hard to get through alone. Founded on June 2011, Bapul is a social Q&A platform that enables users to ask and answer study-related questions. Currently 300,000 middle school and high school students in Korea are using the app to get a solution to their questions. A student working through a tough question can take a picture using a smartphone or tablet and then type their approach to solving the problem. The question is solved with a correct answer and explanation within an average of 21 minutes. Bapul means ‘Immediately Solve’, and now is attempting to expand into China to solve Chinese student’s learning agonies.

Image Credit: NEOPLY China

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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