Why have travel start-ups gathered at Incheon Airport?


“If I do not have to carry heavy carriers to the airport…”

“If I could easily take care of foreign coins…”

There are people who want to capture the inconvenience of life as a “problem” and solve it with a “business.” These companies, whose innovative ideas and technologies are driving the gap in the market, are called ‘start-ups’.

In the field of travel, various start-ups are expanding their travel culture with new and useful services. However, for early start-ups, there is an absolute shortage of financial and human resources to launch and operate products or services. Especially, if it’s hard to generate sales immediately, start-ups need outside investment and support to get out of Death Valley.

(*Death Valley: The period where start-up companies, which are three to five years old, have difficulty reaching the commercialization stage due to lack of funds for commercialization.)

What if someone aids start-ups in difficult situation to grow well?

Not only does quality service make travel more convenient, it could contribute to creating an environment for young people’s start-ups and creating innovative jobs.

This is why Incheon Airport, which is leading the way in realizing social values, has embarked on a journey to promote travel start-ups since last year!

How Incheon Airport promotes start-ups

Step 1) 'Travel Start-up Promotion Project' Contest

In March 2019, new challenge of Incheon Airport began. Incheon Airport held contest of ‘Travel Start-up Promotion Project’ for prospective start-ups less than three years old possessing travel/tourism business and ideas. Here are the benefits of being selected.

  • Total ₩300,000,000 of commercialization support fund(Maximum ₩40,000,000 for each start-up)
  • Free offer of commercialization training and customized consulting, and support of attracting investment


  • Support of sales and office space for a certain period of time to the selected start-ups after completion of the project

Due to huge benefits, during the month-long reception, the response was very hot. More than 200 teams have applied until the deadline. The competition rate was as high as 26 to 1, so you could guess the fever.

Let’s meet fortunate teams that will develop using Incheon Airport as a test bed.

1) luggage management


Luggage storage service ‘LugStay’

  • A real-time baggage storage service that utilizes empty idle space in partnership with local stores to store luggage for travelers
  • The user finds an affiliate store on the mobile map, receives a reservation ticket, and visits the store
  • Store operators just have to attach safety seals to luggage. Sharing space to make money, and inviting customers are also possible.
  • Website: https://www.lugstay.com/

Luggage delivery service ‘ZIMZOM’

  • Luggage delivery service that carries your luggage when you check it airport, hotel, and Air bnb after making reservation at 6pm the day before use.
  • In addition, along with delivery service, substitution for purchasing products that users want is also provided.
  • Website: https://zimzom.co.kr/

Carrier Sharing Service ‘ARTG’

2) Exchange service


24h Foreign Coin Exchange service ‘Changepoint’

  • Kiosk service where you can exchange the remaining foreign coins into your account after traveling abroad.
  • You can transfer the money to your account or donate it to the Green Umbrella Foundation, Good Neighbors or the World Natural Fund
  • Scan your ID, insert a coin, and enter your account number.
  • Website: https://changepoint.kr/

Two-way unmanned exchange system ‘Cointrabbit’

  • You can exchange won into foreign currency, and you can also buy and sell both won and foreign currency.
  • You can exchange not only coins but also paper bills.
  • Website: http://cointravit.com

3) Guide service


Full concierge travel agency for the weak ‘Amusetravel’

  • Full concierge service travel agency that offers travel packages specialized for wellness travel, silver travel and travel for the disabled.
  • Recommend hotels that are convenient for moving electric and manual wheelchairs, convenient routes for moving strollers and wheelchairs, and programs with low risk of injury, etc.
  • Website: https://www.amusetravel.com/

Chatting type AI tour guide ‘JellyLab’

  • Through its own web-based chatbot, the course is designed to cater to the tastes of foreign tourists and travel destinations and restaurants are recommended in real time.
  • Website: On preparation

4) Dietary Solution

check eat

Dietary information provision service ‘Check eat’

  • Dedicated service for food-restricted consumers with eight dietary types, including allergies, vegetarianism and low salinity.
  • Recommend suitable restaurants and foods based on the restaurant’s ‘food ingredients’ data and the customer’s ‘personal dietary information’
  • Serving in kiosk form in places such as food courts, airports, and hospitals.
  • Website: On preparation

Step 2) Arranging meetings with investors! Hosting ‘Demo Day’


The eight selected start-ups were able to receive business support and consulting for about seven months with the full support of Incheon Airport. That’s not the end of it Incheon Airport has set up another opportunity for these start-ups to meet more investors and expand their businesses. On October 31, 2019, Demo Day was held at the Seoul Foundation Hub Conference Hall.

Demo Day refers to an event in which an invested start-up demonstrates and presents its business model (BM) and demo products in front of investors and the public. It is a significant event that can directly and indirectly appeal to the changes that have occurred since the investment was made, and how much more investment should be made in the future.

Since this demo day is a special event designed to attract investment for the eight start-ups selected by the Incheon Airport start-up promotion project contest, many people attended the event. About 120 judges from seven companies, including five venture capital representatives with outstanding travel and tourism skills, including start-up growth support companies and angel investors, attended the event to listen to the announcements and exchange feedback of the companies

Step 3) Operation of 'Start-up PR Hall' to expand contact with consumers

If Incheon Airport had arranged a meeting between start-ups and investor through Demo Day,

Start-up PR Hall, which started its operation by the end of last year, provides a contact point for start-ups that need to be promoted to meet with various consumers visiting Incheon Airport.

Located at the Millennium Hall on the first floor of Incheon Airport Terminal 1, the Start-up PR Hall is filled with stories of travel start-ups supported by the corporation. There are various types of exhibitions including 3D holograms, promotional videos, and brochures, so it could be a good opportunity to take a look around the new travel services and use them when needed.

The exhibition will be held until March this year. Those who are interested must visit the PR Hall!

That was the introduction of process of Incheon Airport Travel Start-up Promotion Project and services provided by selected start-ups. Their courage and struggle to boldly carrying out ideas that did not exist in the world deserves loud applause.

Let’s picture the future of them growing into a unicorn company worth 1 trillion won in the future. In the future when looking back at trace until then, this promotion project at Incheon Airport is hoped to be remembered as an opportunity adding wings to the growth of eight start-ups.

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