For the first time, Tech Crunch has expanded it’s Disrupt conference to include Asia. At yesterday’s inaugural event in Beijing, two Korean startups took to the stage as part of the Startup Battlefield, where founders pitched their companies or concepts in front of a panel of judges and an audience of entrepreneurs, VCs, angels and potential customers.
You may remember Moglue from the live This Week in Startups Seoul episode broadcast from Seoul Space HQ. Moglue has created Windows and Mac interfaces to author and publish children’s books for tablets. The books can include animations, narration, sound effects and other interactive elements. This puts the book quality on-par with children’s books from major publishers in the app store. Click here to see their Disrupt pitch.
Shakr Media claims to magically (and automatically) transform written web content into professional looking videos, complete with 3D motion graphics and voiceover narration. They aim to help small media publishers compete with the big boys and already have some content deals in place. Shakr used Disrupt as its official launch platform and their website is now in private beta. Click here to see their Disrupt pitch. (DISCLAIMER: The author of this blog post is a minor investor in Shakr.)
Tech Crunch will announce winners of the Startup Battlefield later this afternoon, so check back in for details and keep rooting for these Korean startups.
UPDATE 1: Moglue named one of six finalists!
UPDATE 2: Well, while neither Korean contender took home the final prize, both Moglue and Shakr did a great job of generating publicity and (hopefully) investor interest by participating in the Startup Battlefield. The trophy ended up going to OrderWithMe, a group buying site that allows retailers in the U.S. to buy fashion and clothing items directly from Chinese factories without having to meet minimum order requirements. Not only did this team have a great concept but they also seemed to have pinned down every detail of how their business would operate. I congratulate them on a well-deserved win. You can read more about OrderWithMe by clicking here.