[Korea's Government 3.0] Startup Accelerator Open Square D: from Virtual Reality to Medical Tourism
[Korea's Government 3.0] Startup Accelerator Open Square D: from Virtual Reality to Medical Tourism
  • By Yeon Choul-woong (bruceyeon@koreaittimes.com)
  • 승인 2016.03.10 15:00
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Open Square D, South Korea’s first one-stop startup incubating center dedicated to startups using open government data (OGD), has been home to six startups since its opening in January.

The six tenants are startups armed with a variety of creative ideas, including an OGD-based parking space information service, a virtual reality (VR) video service, a customized medical clinic information service and a late-night infrastructure information service.

This 3rd installment of the Open Government Data Series is intended to introduce to readers the six startups that call Open Square D home.


<> GoVR combines VR with OGD.

GoVR is the developer of GoVR 360 VR Curation, an app that provides access to VR videos of tourist attractions across the nation. By tapping into tourism information made available on OGD Portal (www.data.go.kr), run by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), GoVR is now developing a new VR experience service to furnish VR images of tourist destinations, cultural heritages and historical sites and make viewers feel like they’re actually there.

What’s more, GoVR is making preparations to open a 331 square-meter VR experience zone at Yongsan Electronics World, a hot place for those interested in Korean ICTs. Perks offered by Open Square D to GoVR include phones that can test VR videos.

Modu Parking app

<> The nation’s No.1 parking app “Modu Parking”

The Modu Parking app offers information on the location of nearby parking lots and parking fees by utilizing municipalities’ open data on parking lots. This app provides information on not only the location of parking lots but also the occupancy of parking spaces reserved for residents, where drivers can park at a reasonable fee while they are vacant. The app developer is also pushing for a parking space sharing project aimed at making a profit by making better use of residential parking spaces.

<>SAM Post sends postcards to make your travel memories last long.

SAM Post has developed an app that allows users to keep their smartphone pics in the form of physical postcards. SAM is short for ‘Send A lot of Memories.’ The SAM post app is built on the Korea Tourism Organization’s open data service “Tour API 3.0.” The SAM Post app won the first prize at the 2014 Smart Tourism ICT Contest for its creative O2O (online to offline) service strategy focused on adding some analogue vibes to smartphones.

<> Long Factory keeps you company late at night.

Long Factory is working on an app that provides information on late night mass transit schedules and after-hours clinics.

Long Factory’s app helps users stay out of harm's way late at night by offering late-night schedule information in real time based on access to open transport data and data on after-hours clinics accessible via open APIs (Application Programming Interface). To calculate an optimal route to your destination, the app capitalizes on transportation information service centers’ open APIs. Long Factory, which moved in to Open Square D as an entrepreneur-to-be, is scheduled to launch its app soon.

<> BIAEN, an OGD-based patent search app for laymen

Searching for patent information via existing patent search engines, like KIPRIS and Wips, was only possible through patent lawyers or patent experts. However, BIAEN (Bigdata Artificial Intelligence Engine), a patent search app, makes it easy for general people to find patent information online.

BIAEN, a startup set up by leading Korean experts on machine learning, text mining and network complexity, is also a member of Microsoft BizSpark, so it can access and download a wide range of Microsoft software during the three years it is in the program.

BIAEN, which also moved in to Open Square D at its pre-startup stage, is scrupulously taking steps towards commercialization. The launch of the BIAEN app is slated for sometime in the first half of this year.

Eunogo (Image: Eunogo homepage)

<> Eunogo dreams about Hallyu spilling over into beauty and medical tourism.

Eunogo is a platform provider for the Korean beauty and medical tourism sector catering to tourists from English-speaking countries and Southeast Asian nations.

Through Eunogo, foreign tourists can choose the most suitable clinic after reading reviews and getting estimates of medical costs and make an appointment online.

Eunogo taps into a wide range of public data, from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA)’s open datasets to open data on the location of hospitals, pharmacies and etc. As an O2O platform serving as a “trip advisor for medical beauty treatments,” Eunogo has been developed to address the issues of asymmetric medical information and low efficiency in medical tourism.

Open Square D is planning to provide future tenants, as well as other startups using OGD, with various support programs, such as educational courses, customized consulting services, IR events and marketing through the media, with a view to laying the groundwork for the growth of OGD-based startups.

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