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Global Outreach In Brooklyn By BCC’s Randy Peers Leads To Korean Partnership In Industry City

Tech Startups Lead the Way

January 18, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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INDUSTRY CITY — Brooklyn already knew their Chamber of Commerce was going global. They didn’t realize just how fast. This week, the Chamber announced a partnership with the Korean International Trade Association (KITA), Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and INNOPOLIS.

The groups have selected 10 South Korean startups to participate in the Energy, Safety and Sanitation Proof of Concept Program, which allows the overseas startups to test their high-tech products in Brooklyn, none of which are currently sold in the global market. The program also helps Brooklyn businesses to improve in the areas of energy, public safety and sanitation.

The Global Proof of Concept (POC) Program matches the startups, based in South Korea, with counterparts in Industry City and across Brooklyn. A number of Kings County-based small business owners have welcomed the South Korean inventions and the entrepreneurs behind them, some of whom have come to Brooklyn to install the products and ensure that they are working correctly.

Sahadi’s, famous for its gourmet Middle Eastern groceries and trendy cafe, is testing a composting machine from Raesang, that simulates the human intestine by turning leftover food into mulch which can be usefully discarded. The restaurant is also using color-changing temperature “stickers,” from Newture that indicate when meats and produce are exposed to unsafe temperatures for prolonged periods.

In the commissary kitchen of Industry City is a compact air purifier from South Korean startup A Virtual, with an autonomous driving system that self-learns to recognize places that are most in need of disinfection.

Industry City’s corporate headquarters, meanwhile, is demonstrating a product from Sesame Lab that uses mobile blockchain technology to control physical access to their offices.

“The ‘Brooklyn brand’ is going global, and businesses overseas want to experience operations here in our borough,” Randy Peers, President and CEO of the Chamber said. “We’re grateful for KITA’s willingness to partner on this groundbreaking project. Our role is guiding these startups toward resources and, in this case, helping them do business on the Brooklyn side. The companies we’ve partnered with have the potential to be market disruptors in areas like green energy – which is a key to our City’s future – and the global economy.”

“The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has helped KITA serve as a ‘matchmaker’ for South Korean startups and their overseas partners,” said Philjae Park, Director of the

Startup Global Connect Department at KITA. “The Global Proof of Concept (POC) Program in Industry City is a realization of the dreams of Seoul’s entrepreneurship community. We can’t think of a better place for these tech-focused companies to expand, than in Brooklyn.”

“Industry City is a hub for startups and innovators, and we are thrilled to be on the ground floor of so many exciting new technologies,” said Jim Somoza, Managing Director and Partner at Industry City. “We are pleased to partner with the Chamber and KITA on this exciting project.”

The Chamber and KITA vetted over 40 businesses and selected 10 finalists for the pilot. The test products all center around sanitation, green energy and security.

In Korea, D. Bridges Alliance (DBA) is helping to oversee the implementation of the products, acting as an intermediary with both the Chamber, KITA and the startups.

“Through operating these pilot programs over the years, we hope to bring tangible benefits to Brooklyn and facilitate a platform for collaboration between Brooklyn and South Korea, creating an atmosphere of mutual benefit and learning between the two regions,” said Sean Shin, co-founder of DBA and project manager for the pilot program.

“This pilot program was a great opportunity to leverage our unique blockchain technology to confirm our market potential in the US,” said Minki Shin, COO of Sesame Lab. “By using Seoul and Singapore as a base, we will strengthen our global capabilities, enabling us to provide smart key solutions not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also across the US.” 

On January 16, a program report will be made available on the outcome of the Global Proof of Concept (POC) Program. 

About the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is among the largest and most influential business advocacy organizations in New York, having spent the last hundred years developing and promoting policies that drive economic development and advance its members’ interests. The Chamber is the voice of Brooklyn’s business community, offering the

resources, programs, tools and direct support businesses need to continue creating jobs and opportunities in their communities. 

About the Korea International Trade Association

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) was established in 1946 with the objective of advancing the Korean economy through trade, and is currently the largest business organization in Korea with over 70,000 member companies. Representing the interests of Korea’s global traders, KITA serves a diverse range of roles including: providing hands-on support to trade companies, drawing trade cooperation from the private sector, formulating new trade strategies, nurturing trade professionals and building trade infrastructure. With a widely established network of 13 domestic offices and 11 overseas branches in major cities, KITA has consolidated its position as a leading business organization dedicated to assisting SMEs in gaining foreign market entry and has actively contributed towards Korea’s recent achievement of 1 trillion dollars in trade volume. 

About D. Bridges Alliance

DBA is a cross-border business facilitator that seeks to bridge the gap between cities and provide safe and accessible passage for those wishing to do business beyond their borders. DBA is built on the principles of disruptive innovation, providing our services of project creation and operation in order to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the valuable connections that can be built between cities. 

About Innopolis 

In 1973, the government of South Korea embarked on the construction of a public research complex in the Daedeok area, to improve the effectiveness of national R&D investments through the geographical concentration of national R&D assets in one place. Numerous R&D outcomes that laid the cornerstone for South Korea’s economic leapfrogging were generated from Daedeok Research Complex. Some exemplary cases include the development of the world’s largest 4M DRAM and the world’s first commercial use of CDMA technologies. 

About the Industrial Bank of Korea 

Industrial Bank of Korea was established in 1961 pursuant to the [Industrial Bank of Korea Act] by the Government of Korea to provide development finance and related banking services to small-and medium-sized enterprises in Korea. Under the IBK Act,

IBK is the only financial institution in Korea that may borrow Korean government funds for the benefit of small-and medium-sized enterprises and issue Small and Medium Industry Finance Bonds (the SMIF Bonds). IBK has a nationwide branch network with over 690 branches, through which the bank provides comprehensive SMEs banking services. IBK also has overseas branches and subsidiaries to support small- and medium-sized enterprises operating abroad.

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