by Lyndsey Twining,
photos by Dong-ock Kim,


[Photo: Sanqi Li (left), CTO of Huawei, presenting the World Startup Competition's top prize to Matija Zulj, CEO of farm management software startup, Agrivi]

November 25, 2014
Seoul, South Korea

The World Startup Competition was held on Nov. 24-25 in Seoul, Korea as part of Startup Nations Summit 2014.  Forty-six teams from 45 countries competed for $110,000 USD worth of prize money.

Of the 46 startup teams, five were selected from the semi-finals to compete in the final round on Tuesday afternoon. Twenty percent of the score for the semi-final was from online voting, which was held prior to the summit. The five finalists were Pulsate from Ireland, SALt from the Philippines, Hoope from Peru, Agrivi from Croatia, and neoScores from Belgium (see below for a detailed description of the finalists).

[Photo: Bart Van der Roost, CEO of neoScores, presents his product and team at the World Startup Competition Grand Final]

The five teams each had five minutes to present their startups, followed by seven minutes of Q&A with the judges, and three minutes of audience questions. They were judged based on five elements: service potential, market potential, team, innovation, and pitching skills. The judges included Naree Lee (Managing Director, D.CAMP, Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs), Edward Jung (Founder and CTO, Intellectual Ventures), Sanqi Li (CTO, Huawei), John Lee (Country Director, Google Korea), and Heesung Oh (VP of Operations, Foxconn).

[Photo: Judges of the World Startup Competition Grand Final prepare for judging / From left, Heesung Oh, John Lee, Sanqi Li, Edward Jung, and Naree Lee]

Five prizes were awarded, totaling $110,000 USD in prize money. The People’s Choice Award, presented by Hyundai Motors and the KOTRA Award, worth $10,000 each, were both awarded to SALt from the Philippines. The Google-D.CAMP Award, worth $20,000 was awarded to Hoope from Peru. The Foxconn Award of $20,000 went to neoScores from Belgium. The top prize from Huawei, valued at $50,000, was awarded to Agrivi from Croatia.

[Photo: Heesung Oh (VP Operations, Foxconn), Sanqi Li (CTO, Huawei), Bart Van der Roost (CEO, neoScores), and Matija Zulj (CEO, Agrivi) await the announcement of the winner of the Hwawei Award]

“I’m very happy. I didn’t expect it. It is a great inspiration to keep moving forward and change the way we grow food,” said Matija Zulj, CEO of Agrivi.

Huawei Prize


Agrivi from Croatia

Foxconn Prize


neoScores from Belgium

Google-D.CAMP Prize


Hoope from Peru



SALt from the Philippines

People’s Choice Award, by Hyundai Motors


SALt from the Philippines


[Photo: Prize winners show off their awards / From left, Irina Rymshina (CEO, Hoope), Bart Van der Roost (CEO, neoScores), Matija Zulj (CEO, Agrivi), and Aisa Mijeno (CEO, SALt)]


 World Startup Competition Grand Final Competitors


Pulsate | Ireland
“Context Marketing for the Physical World”

Pulsate provides retailers with the capability to use tiny self-contained iBeacons® which, once activated, begin broadcasting customer location and context back to the Pulsate cloud. From there the retailer can segment, automate and personalize every communication sent by the platform. Customers can even reply, forming a direct dialogue between the retailer and customer.


SALt - Sustainable Alternative Lighting | Philippines
“This isn’t just a product. It’s a social movement.”
WINNER of KOTRA Prize ($10,000 USD) and People Choice Award ($10,000 USD)

We provide sustainable and cost effective ecologically designed lamp powered by "tap water" and "table salt!" There are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines and most of these islands do not have access to electricity. We want to eliminate the sustaining cost in areas that rely on kerosene/battery powered lamps and candles as their main source of lighting. And to provide a more efficient light source for people who use lamps and candles as an alternative source of lighting. There are no materials and components inside the lamp that may cause fire accidents. One less thing to worry about for families that rely on kerosene lamps as their main source of lighting. This lamp uses the science behind the Galvanic cell, the basis for battery-making, changing the electrolytes to a non-toxic, saline solution -- making the entire process safe and harmless. 


Hoope | Peru
“Get engaged with your health”
WINNER of Google-D.CAMP Prize ($20,000 USD)

Hoope is an affordable, easy to use medical device that enables painless and rapid diagnostic for 4 STDs: syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and chlamydia infection in one test. Results are automatically shown in the Hoope APP for Iphone or Android where users can find educational information regarding sexual health and follow up recommendations based on their test results.


Agrivi | Croatia
“Managing farms has never been so easy”
WINNER of Huawei Prize ($50,000 USD)

Agrivi is an intelligent cloud farm management software that helps farmers to improve their productivity and profitability. Our vision is to change the way food is produced and make positive impact on more than 1 billion lives. We believe that knowledge must be available to all agriculture producers and with help of intelligent but affordable technology, they can make significant change and improve their production. Driven by our beliefs, we are creating an intelligent and knowledge-based farm management software that helps agriculture producers to: optimize their production by enforcing agriculture best practices, increase profit by increasing yield quantity and improving quality, and find buyers for produced goods to ensure sales and reduce food waste.


neoScores | Belgium
“The digital alternative to sheet music”
WINNER of Foxconn Prize ($20,000 USD)

neoScores is a web app, that enables content owners to sell, and content users to buy and use digital sheet music, via, in-app purchasing and through websites of content owners. We earn money through commissions on sheet music sold and by freemium app use. We do this because there is no real digital sheet music format that takes advantage of current hardware (including multimedia and different screen sizes), and to take away the frustration with current image based solutions.

 For more coverage of SNS2014, please visit the SNS2014 Facebook, Twitter (@sns2014seoul), and website.


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