Building Up Confidence with AI-Powered Dance Lessons – Interview with Swipecool, Winner of the InnoVEX 2022 Pitch Contest

 2023-03-02 By: InnoVEX Team

The InnoVEX Pitch Contest is one of the mainstays of InnoVEX and the winner of the InnoVEX Pitch Contest Grand Prize is always announced on the last day of the onsite event. The winner in 2022 was Swipecool, a Taiwan-based sports tech startup offering online dance classes with an AI-integrated interactive video player.

Earlier in January, the InnoVEX Team had a chance to sit down and interview Mr. KM Tsao, co-founder of Swipecool on his experience as a founder as well as the journey of Swipecool as a startup. Swipecool started out as the online platform of HRC Dance Studio, one of Taiwan’s largest dance studios. “We found out that 52% of learners could not go to offline dance studios mostly because of psychological barriers; feeling shy, embarrassed, afraid, etc.” he stated.

This psychological barrier is not easy to overcome and often becomes detrimental not only to the learner who would not be comfortable in continuing their classes; but also, for the dance studios who could not retain students. In this dynamic, Swipecool aims to provide solutions to the users who want to be able to dance by making them more comfortable with the idea of dancing and building their confidence.

Mr. Tsao saw confidence as the main issue that they aim to solve. “Many people say that the online app/ solution might replace the offline dance studio, but I think this will never happen. In reality, online solutions like the one Swipecool offers can support the offline dance studios and when integrated properly, they can create a flywheel effect and foster growth on both aspects.” Mr. Tsao stated.

He further shared that dance lessons are generally considered a niche industry, but this is great for startups who want to pursue the industry as it allows startups to focus on specific goals and solve them even despite the limited available resources. However, this also demands the startups have resources critical to the industry; especially experience and domain knowledge. With experience in operating HRC Dance Studio for over 22 years, this niche industry is perfect for Swipecool.

Swipecool’s interactive video player can show users the difference between their movements and the instructors’ and combined with AI recognition, they can effectively create a gamification function to encourage learning without the burden. The interactive video player allows users to adjust the angle, transparency, and zoom in/ out to compare their movements against their instructors’. The combination of both features also means Swipecool can be applied in various forms of body movement artforms or physical education. This helps users learn better as they can repeat any section as often as necessary and check out the details they may have missed.

Their main advantage over the competitors is their IP as Swipecool has managed to host content by legendary dancers from Taiwan and Japan. With plans to expand to Japan, then Asia in general, Swipecool has expanded their IPs to include more legendary Japanese dancers. Improving their IP will help encourage more users to use their app as potential students can choose the instructors that fit their needs in both style and genre. Mr. Tsao believes that having more legendary dancers on their platform will also help international users be more familiar with Swipecool as they might know which dancers they are interested in.

In 2022, Swipecool joined InnoVEX not only as an exhibitor and pitching team, but also as a panelist in the Soft Power & Innovation Forum. To Mr. Tsao, InnoVEX is more than just an exhibition or event, but an ecosystem. He said “You can see a lot of true investors in InnoVEX; angel investors, CVCs, and more. You can also find business partners, cooperation opportunities, and more because InnoVEX and COMPUTEX are global events that gather a lot of international companies and media who are interested in what Taiwan has to offer.”

Winning the InnoVEX 2022 Pitch Contest Grand Prize has also opened many doors for Swipecool as it helps them get the attention of potential partners or investors as well as giving them great brand recognition. This facilitated their goal of expanding their IP as they could approach and attract legendary dancers from Japan more easily as well as receiving invitations from startup incubators and accelerators. “If I were you, as an entrepreneur, I would and I should participate in InnoVEX (at least) once because that is the best stage if you want to go global.” Mr. Tsao said.

The InnoVEX Team asked Mr. Tsao for a message to share with startups interested in joining InnoVEX and he said, “Be bold and global, don’t be restricted by the status quo. InnoVEX is the best stage to connect to the world. Swipecool will join InnoVEX in 2023. Please join us and be part of this ecosystem. See you in InnoVEX 2023!”

Watch the interview video here.

Look Forward to InnoVEX 2023 Pitch Contest!

InnoVEX Pitch Contest provides startups with an opportunity to directly showcase their innovations, as well as a chance to win prizes that can help their teams grow. Through the Pitch Contest, TCA aims to provide participating startups with more opportunities to network with global partners and promote more business opportunities.

Registration for the InnoVEX 2023 Pitch Contest has started on February 20, 2023 and will only be open for InnoVEX 2023 exhibitors. Follow the InnoVEX social media channels to never miss any updates!

Register here.