worldwide ReadWriteWeb meetup. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from this blog's community. Of all of these, including the fabulous ones that were put on in St. Louis and Boston, the ReadWriteWeb Seoul meetup was one of the most intricately planned meetups I learned about, and while I'm typically a non-planner, I was very, very impressed with the happenings at this meetup.On November 15, many of us and many of you took part in a
I asked the meetup planner, David Lee, Founder & CEO of Shakr Media, a Seoul-based startup, to recap the meetup so that the rest of us could live vicariously through his notes (and video!).
Seoul's startup scene is going global in a big way, and earlier this month a group of ReadWriteWeb fans and Korean entrepreneurs gathered at Shakr Media HQ to talk about their startups at the first ReadWriteWeb Seoul meetup.
I kicked off the event with a post-Techcrunch Disrupt Beijing update from Shakr Media. We substantially increased the number of private beta users for Sha.kr, where you can watch automatically assembled video news based on written articles from across the web. But more importantly, we announced that towards the end of this month we are opening Sha.kr Create so anyone can create their own WebGL shows by uploading a few photos and video clips.
Xmon Games talked briefly about ZZOMS and Yummy Yummy, two iPhone games they launched from their game studio in Seoul. Kyoungho Kim, Co-CEO of Xmon Games gave his first ever presentation about his company in English. Co-CEOs Kim and Park are one of a number of startups in Korea benefiting from generous government R&D grants, which Kim describes briefly in his presentation. (R&D grants which I have very strong mixed feelings about, because of the bureaucracy partly, but more so because of the not-so-implicit expectation to commit fraud in some cases.)
Ahiku's product launch demo for Recood was next. Co-founder Is Koo ran through a quick demo, which boils down to a very simple take on Instagram for video. The story behind Ahiku is an interesting one... They started a few years ago with Terebe, a social video annotation site that had many of YouTube's current feature set, only that was 2 years earlier. They had trouble getting traction beyond Korea, and after deciding that they want to be a global company, made the tough decision to shutdown the service to focus on a simpler product. TwitOnAir, their next product, got scooped up by Korea's second largest telecom, KT. It is now Olleh OnAir. I'm looking forward to seeing Recood do well in the market next!
To wrap-up the event, Yohan Kim from Paprika Lab shared some of the numbers and methods behind their climb to success as the creator of Hero City, one of only two Facebook social games in Korea to have over 1 million users. What's especially interesting to note is that, despite a huge difference in the number of users on Cyworld vs. Facebook overall, Paprika Lab's Cyworld revenue is comparable to what they earn on Facebook.
Peter Kim from Uhuru unfortunately couldn't make it to the event, but he'll be around next time to share the story of Uhuru in more detail. It would have been nice to have him around, because his take on social video has a strong business model that goes far beyond ad impressions. Uhuru is a site where anyone can create video advertisements for brands, and brands can pick them up for commercial use. Peter is also the CEO of a seed fund & incubator in Korea, Applemint Holdings.
These entrepreneurs, investors and startup enthusiasts had a great time coming together. Thank you ReadWriteWeb for giving us one more excuse to gather and talk about what we love doing!
If you held a ReadWriteWeb meetup in your area that you'd like to recap or if you need help starting a ReadWriteWeb meetup in your area, please reach out to our Community Manager, Robyn Tippins for assistance.