International Recognition: Korean Startup Flitto Wins Seedstars’ World Competition in Switzerland with Online Crowdsourced Translation App | BusinessKorea

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Simon Lee, CEO and co-founder of Flitto, accepts his award at the Seedstars World event in Geneva, Switzerland.
Simon Lee, CEO and co-founder of Flitto, accepts his award at the Seedstars World event in Geneva, Switzerland.
11 February 2014 - 5:45pm

A South Korean online startup company, Flitto, won an international startup competition hosted by Seedstars World (SSW) and US$500,000 in startup money in Geneva, Switzerland on February 5, 2014. 

Flitto is a crowdsourcing translation platform that gives Internet users the tools to request and fulfill translations of all sorts of content.  The web site works in 17 languages at present, including Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. 

The Seedstars World Final Event was hosted by Lift, a European conference focused on innovation and technology. At the end of the event, the final one for Seedstars’s 2013 round of competition, Flitto was declared Grand Winner. 

The SSW team traveled to 20 different cities in 2013 to find the best startups globally. They held regional competitions to select the best startups in each one. The 20 winners were invited to Geneva, where they had the opportunity to participate in an intensive bootcamp at the leading engineering school EPFL. They attended several mentoring and pitching sessions by mentors including Leanstart’s Vincenzo Pallotta, Nestle’s Christianne Bournival, and Rajdeep Gahir from Ebay. 

After semi-finals, 5 startups were selected by a distinguished jury composed of Jim Pulcrano and Benoit Leleux from IMD, Stefano Guidotti from U-Start, Cristina Riese of Evernote, Galixo’s CEO Raphael Dana, Bernard Gander and Seedstars World co-founder Pierre-Alain Masson to compete against each other. The finalists were Kudo from Brazil, SimplePay from Nigeria, Retail Tower from Ghana, Jayride from Australia and finally Flitto from South Korea. “It was very difficult to choose only five startups as the overall quality of the 20 startups was really impressive!” said jury member Raphael Dana. 

At the final event in Geneva on February 4th, the five finalists pitched their startups to the jury, which selected Flitto from Seoul, South Korea, to receive the first Seedstars World trophy. It was crowned the “Seedstars World Best Startup 2013”. Flitto’s pitch included a live demo of the product that wowed the audience with its speed and quality. 

Flitto has over three million users from 170 countries and more than 800,000 translators. “Not only did their product prove to be highly scalable and innovative, it already has a huge traction on the global market,” said Seedstars World jury members. Pierre-Alain Masson commented on the jury’s decision: “It was difficult to choose between such excellent five finalists. But Flitto amazed us with its combination of market scalability and true innovation. Their language translation app is truly groundbreaking, and I look forward to our future collaboration.”  

Simon Lee, Flitto’s CEO and Co-Founder, spoke about winning the SSW trophy and what it means to him and his company. “After Seedstars World came to Seoul and crowned us Regional Winner, doors opened for us and we really gained traction. The publicity it created was also fantastic, and this win will take us even further.”


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