Korea is becoming quite the springboard PhD-powered startups. Thanks to support programs sponsored by the Korean government, I have had the opportunity to work with many Korean startups in the past few years. Of all the companies I’ve worked with, there are three that I’ve fallen in love with.
Co-founded by 4 Stanford PhDs (who also happened to be old high school friends), Stratio specializes in short-wave infrared technology (SWIR). They are developing a powerful new SWIR sensor that will revolutionize their industry by cutting costs significantly. Stratio hopes that they can make SWIR sensors so affordable that for the first time, consumers may be able to buy them and use them for exciting applications like night vision on your smartphone.
Korea University produced the 3 PhDs and professor who founded Opinion8. Over the last four years, they have built a brand new way to parse and consolidate the language in thousands of consumer reviews to provide concise “consensus” summaries of everything from restaurants to movies. With Opinion8’s technology, you don’t need to read reviews to know what’s great, Opinion8 will do all the hard work for you and give you the best results every time.
6 PhDs from KAIST (Korea’s MIT) have established CLDI, a startup that focuses on image recognition through machine learning. In this year’s ILSVRC (the world’s, premiere competition for image recognition technology) they ranked #7 overall behind only the likes of Google and Microsoft, and #1 amongst startups. They are currently applying their technology to build a visual search engine for fashion, one where consumers can upload a photo of clothing they’re interested in and get recommendations for similar clothing they can buy.
These companies are proving that Korean PhDs are not merely academics, but that they are creative innovators in their own right.
The heads of these three startups are eager to talk with investors, partners, and anyone who is interested in supporting intelligent technological progress. Please check out their websites and reach out. If they do not respond within 24 hours, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).