Korean high-tech companies seek out opportunities in Silicon Valley

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Korean startups are trying to attract Silicon Valley funds at two-day conference. (K-Tech Conference)

Innovation is not exclusive to Silicon Valley.

As Google innovates with internet connected devices, such as Google glass, others are working hard to make them better and more reliable. Ambient noise, for example, can interfere doing an accurate search.

But gesture recognition might be the solution. That's what one Korean-based company is showing off this week at a K-Tech, a two-day conference in Santa Clara. The 'K' meaning Korea.

"People will want to use their many different functions of their home smart devices just by turning on one gadget," says Jiyum Kim with Zimply.

The Korean startup's have come here with a strong sense of purpose.

Over 40 companies are here to network, to meet potential funders and to seek opportunities in Silicon Valley. And many are brimming with ideas how to do "IOT," or the "Internet of Things." The goal of IOT is to have apparel, appliances and many other devices talk to each other over the internet. We already see start-up's working on connected clothing and wearable technology for biometrics. What if they could talk to each other over the internet? Venture capitalists envision where we're heading.

"Thermostats, refrigerators, watches, even shoes, shirts. All of those opportunities are potentially being connected, and I believe in a matter of the next few years, we'll look back and we can even imagine why these things that we consider day-to-day aren't connected to the internet," claims Jay Eum with Translink Capital.

The K-Tech conference is a reflection of the big push in Korea to go beyond its domestic market and think globally. It also reflects a generational change in embracing risk. In Asia, failure can be a cultural embarrassment. However, in Silicon Valley, failure is just part of the high-risk, high-reward gamble of being an entrepreneur.

"Our young generation is getting more aggressive," explains Ma Yup with Creative Bomb.

If the Internet of Things is going to succeed, one key issue will be security.

Sooyong Park with Korea's National IT Industry Promotion Agency says though security is a big concern, he believes it can be addressed within the next two to three years.

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technologybusinessinternetwebsitesappswearable techsouth korea
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