Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Seoul, South Korea - Sep 05, 2017 - The Government of South Korea, one of the world’s most innovative technology incubators, has announced the selection of Silicon Valley-based technology startup Crowdz, The B-Commerce Company™, as one of only 50 participants in its 2017 K-Startup Grand Challenge Program. More than 1,500 companies from more than 110 countries around the world applied for the 2017 Grand Challenge Program, placing Crowdz among less than 3% of applicants accepted.
Crowdz was selected by Sparklabs Accelerator, one of five Korean accelerators along with the Korean National Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) Promotion Agency (NIPA) managing the Grand Challenge Program. SparkLabs Grand Challenge Accelerator Program is sponsored by Palo Alto-based SparkLabs Global Ventures whose Board of Advisors includes such business and technology luminaries as: Mark Cuban, founder of the Internet’s first video network; Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist for Google; and management guru Tom Peters. Crowdz was selected for the SparkLabs program as one of only 10 “seed to early-stage startups that have the potential to expand globally” recognizing the importance of Korea in the ICT ecosystem.
Crowdz’s twin recognitions follow upon its dual selection earlier this year as one of only 26 participants in global technology accelerator Plug and Play’s Spring Retail & Brand Innovation Platform and as one of only 16 participants in Plug and Play’s flagship Supply Chain & Logistics Innovation Platform.
If Crowdz can help eliminate even a small percentage of these inefficiencies by revolutionizing an antiquated B-Commerce system that represents billions of dollars in value for businesses worldwide. We believe that this provides enormous growth opportunities for leading technology innovators like Crowdz.
Revolutionizing a $25 Trillion Market
Crowdz, co-founded and led by 20-year Cisco supply-chain veteran Payson E. Johnston, is pioneering the digitization and automation of business-to-business (B2B) commerce, or B-Commerce, throughout the world. The global B-Commerce market currently accounts for $25 trillion in business transactions each year. And yet, unlike the heavily digitized business-to-consumer (B2C) E-Commerce market, less than 30% of all B-Commerce is now digitized.
Johnston, whose startup is initially targeting both large enterprises and small-to-medium-size (SMB) companies in the United States and Pacific Asia, explains that the need for B-Commerce digitization and automation is intense—and the resulting inefficiencies are enormous. All told, companies worldwide are suffering a combined $4 trillion in unnecessary costs and lost sales each year—in large part because nearly three-quarters of all global B2B commerce still takes place in highly manual fashion, such as via paper catalogs, telephone orders, fax, email, EDI, & sales representatives.
“If Crowdz can help eliminate even a small percentage of these inefficiencies by revolutionizing an antiquated B-Commerce system,” says Johnston, “that represents billions of dollars in value for businesses worldwide. We believe that this provides enormous growth opportunities for leading technology innovators like Crowdz.”
K-Startup Grand Challenge: Nurturing Unicorns
The K-Startup Grand Challenge, which is designed to help transform particularly promising seed and early-stage companies into potential “unicorns” (startups valued at more than $1 billion), is sponsored by the South Korean Government and its corporate partners.
One of the key purposes of the program is to promote vigorous collaboration and exchange of ideas between domestic and foreign startups. The program has been applauded for its impartial selection processes, the participating organizations’ high level of competence and passion, as well as its distinctive methods and achievements. Such achievements and recognitions continue to bolster Korea’s reputation as a leading ICT powerhouse in Asia.
For more information on the K-Startup Grand Challenge Program, please visit: http://www.k-startupgc.org/upfilePath/K-Startup%20Grand%20Challenge%202017.pdf.
For more information on SparkLabs, see: http://www.sparklabs.co.kr/sp/about.php.
Sunnyvale, Calif., based Crowdz, is building the world’s first fully-automated B-Commerce transaction networks. Applying cutting-edge artificial-intelligence principles as well as emerging digital technologies like smart contracts and blockchain to antiquated B2B commerce systems, Crowdz will allow brands, manufacturers, and other suppliers to quickly identify and engage the right customers with the right products at exactly the right time—accelerating buyer sourcing and purchasing, opening lucrative new market opportunities, and multiplying sales volume.
Founded in 2014, Crowdz is headed by Payson Johnston, former B2B supply-chain senior manager for Cisco, and its executive team boasts more than 80 years of combined experience in B2B sourcing, supply chain, retail, and ecommerce. Crowdz’s technologies are currently covered by seven pending patents, and a prototype version of Crowdz’s sourcing system is currently being used by 240 seller companies offering 1.6 million products. For more details, please visit http://www.crowdz.AI.
Payson Johnston, CEO