FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Northwest Arkansas is getting closer to Korea, thanks to a new partnership between Fayetteville-based Startup Junkie and the Korean International Trade Association (KITA).

It’s called the Arkansas Korea Alliance, and it will connect international start ups to blue chip clients and venture capital firms here in the United States.

“There is a little bit of explaining involved in terms of where Arkansas is,” said Louis Diesel, director of Startup Junkie. “But this is a great opportunity to put Arkansas on the map in terms of an international perspective.”

The alliance is made up of 11 companies with approximately $32 million in funding.

“Creating a strong bridge between the Northwest Arkansas venture ecosystem and strategic partners in Seoul, South Korea can be a game changer for both regions,” said Jeff Amerine, Startup Junkie consulting founder and managing director. “We see this as a first tangible step in building a robust two-way bridge for innovative Korean ventures looking for a North American gateway and for United States ventures looking for an Asian Pacific gateway. We are excited about the future prospects for both regions

The alliance’s first cohort includes the following companies (all information via Startup Junkie).

  • Lounge Lab – Mooin Sanghei is an unmanned store augmented with A.I. allowing customers to experience “grab and go’ when buying.
  • Mobidoo – Mobidoo’s Sauce is both a live commerce platform and solution designed to facilitate customer shopping in live streaming contents, while providing live commerce functions for clients as a SaaS.
  • Nota – Nota compresses AI models making AI smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient. Nota provides edge-device AI solutions that remove the need for any server or cloud computing.
  • OddConcepts – OddConcepts recommends products and outfits that consumers WILL like, not may like. OC uses machine learning technologies to recognize, analyze and search images for fashion styling. The number of monthly unique users tops 9 million.
  • PiQuant – PiQuant provides a portable food & beverage contamination checking device using spectroscopy-based detectors.
  • PureSpace – PureSpace frees your storage area from pollutants, reduces fruit losses, reduces inventory risk and provides extra freshness for retail customers.
  • SeaVantage – Providing Predicted Time of Arrival (PTA), SeaVantage is a maritime data expert developing and supplying innovative solutions based on big data and AI.
  • SolidWare – SolidWare’s DAVinCI LABS, an auto-ML solution at your fingertips enable enterprises to generate high performing prediction models by discovering complex and hidden patterns lie within the data that users already have.
  • SSenStone – SSenStone provides a new generation authentication / identification tech, OTAC, that allows businesses to identify its users without relying on traditional authentication techs (ID/PW, RSA keys, Tokens)
  • WeavAir – WeavAir offers proactive end-to-end software & hardware solution for air distribution systems that prevents the spread of air contamination and infection, while saving energy and reducing operational and maintenance costs.
  • Wright Brothers – Wright Brothers gives platform users confidence with bike certifications using Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) with X-ray to verify integrity of frames & fair valuations using Big Data, AI, and Data Analytics.