Since 2013, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has held the annual Government 3.0 Open Government Data (OGD) Startup Competition to promote the opening up of government data and discover new business models. Only 10 preliminary round winners entered the 3rd OGD Startup Competition, held in 2015.
For the past three years, 47 teams received awards at the OGD Startup Competition: 23 teams in the Idea category and 24 in the Product and Services Development category. Many of them successfully turned their ideas into businesses and are making inroads into overseas markets.
Winners of the 1st OGD Startup Competition
HwaHae, which took home the first prize, stood out the most among the winners of the 1st OGD Startup Competition. HwaHae is a cosmetics analysis and review app, which taps into information on cosmetics ingredients, provided by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, to provide information on product safety, cosmetics ingredients by skin type and functional ingredients.
The team which developed HwaHae founded startup Birdview and attracted 600 million won from investors and was acquired by National Information & Credit Evaluation, or NICE Group.
Seoul Date POP -- an app offering date night ideas by region and theme that include restaurants, cafes, theaters, etc. -- received an Excellence Award. Seoul Date POP, developed by 10fingers, is based on Tour API 3.0 Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).
10fingers succeeded in attracting 400 million won in investment and 200 million won in R&D funds from venture capital firm Coolidge Corner Investment (CCVC). Seoul Date POP has been downloaded over 1 million times; 10fingers struck partnerships with the nation’s leading portals Naver and Daum. Busan Date POP is currently in the making. 10fingers is working to expand the app service nationwide.
Participation awards were handed out to e-books Kamir’s Motif Expedition and Mamir’s Folk Tale Expedition, developed by e-Motion Books. Kamir’s Motif Expedition and Mamir’s Folk Tale Expedition, educational programs intended for children, tell stories about traditional design patterns and introduce South Korea’s goblins and traditional cultures in an amusing manner.
In December last year, e-Motion Books moved in to startup support center Open Square D. This year, e-Motion Books sponsored annual Korean Festival ‘My Sassy Korea (MSK)’ at the invitation of Illinois State University in Chicago.
Winners of the 2nd OGD Startup Competition Go Global
Red Table is a marketing platform for food service providers in S. Korea, China and Japan. Capitalizing on big data analytics, Red Table finds popular local restaurants and dishes and helps users to place an order via their mobile device. Red Table attracted 1.1 billion won from venture capitalists and expanding into overseas markets through partnerships with the UK’s ResDIARY and China’s Alipay.
The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), developer of WHO’s Good, has recently moved into Open Square D. The ISD is preparing to officially launch ‘corporate non-financial big data (employment, industrial disaster, etc.) analytics services. And the World Bank selected ISD as one of its official global partners in 2015.
Winners of the 3rd OGD Startup Competition
Goonies won the Presidential Award in the Product and Services Development category. Goonies, which has already applied for 9 patents, unveiled Smart Palette, a device letting kids draw and paint copyrighted traditional design patterns (e.g. kiwa (roof tiles), goblins, masks) easily on a tablet computer. Goonies exhibited at CES 2016 and is working to export its products to overseas markets.
Cufit won the Prime Minister’s Award for its bike navigation system, Open Rider. Cufit made the top 10 finalists list by feeding weather information (.e.g. temperature, humidity, UV index, comprehensive air-quality index CAI) into its bike navigation system. It now boasts 450,000 subscribers and the number is on the rise.
In March last year, Open Rider became the most searched-for keyword in the bicycle category on Google Play Store and won the top prize at the Google Fit Developer Challenge in April. Cufit is pushing for a partnership with Samsung Electronics. Cufit will also receive an award at the Korean Multimedia Technology Award, the nation’s highest ICT awards festival, scheduled for May 17 at COEX in southern Seoul.
Hi! Helper won an Excellence Award for its app helping people find nannies. The app taps into data held by child care service providers. As the app scored highly as it was designed to help retirees, job seekers in their 30s-40s or stay-at-home moms suffering from career disruption find a job. As of now, Hi! Helper sold the app to some other company and is working on the GoVR service based on the combination of OGD and virtual reality.
Another Excellence Award winner in the product and services development category was real estate app APTzip. APTzip, an online to offline (O2O) information service for apartment transactions, offers content curation and acts as a realtor. Its official version was launched in April this year. Once users apply for a consulting service online, an APTzip man will visit them to offer consultations on loans, taxes and moving costs and will provide a report on apartments for sale or rent and estimates. APTzip takes advantage of access to real apartment transaction data held by the Korea Appraisal Board.