The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has set the goal of turning Seoul into a “startup-friendly city for the youth” in our belief that young entrepreneurs are treasures of the city. We plan to enhance entrepreneurship training across Industry 4.0 sectors so that the city can give birth to more unicorn companies. We will also keep on supporting entrepreneurs beyond their start-up phase.
Seoul, already home to most of South Korea’s 11 unicorns, is aiming to become one of the world’s top 5 startup hubs by 2022. And the government is putting its money where its mouth is. In July the South Korean government announced plans to invest 114 trillion won ($94.5 billion) over the next 5 years into two ambitious new policies — the Digital New Deal and Green New Deal. Korean companies and local governments will contribute another $37.2 billion to the initiatives for a total of $132.6 billion. Complementary programs from the Seoul Municipal Government include the establishment of the IoT Incubation Center to support startups working to find solutions to urban problems, the creation of the Gyaepo Digital Innovation Park, and the creation of the Seoul App Business Center startup hub. The Seoul Global Startup Center supports foreign entrepreneurs moving to Seoul. The ecosystem also boasts plenty of privately run incubators and events. COMEUP 2020 was Korea’s biggest startup event to date attracting 1076 startups from 88 countries. Venture Capital World Summit helps connect entrepreneurs and investors. TIPS provides startups with incubation spaces in collaboration with universities and research institutes. Its angel matching fund scheme offers financial assistance to growing companies. Seoul startup success stories include global research firm and unicorn CB Insights, AI tutoring company Riid, which has raised a total of $248.1 million, and Fintech startup Viva Republica, currently valued at $7.4 billion.
Ecosystem by the numbers
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South Korea’s game market size is projected to exceed 18 trillion won ($16.6 billion) in 2021, according to a white paper released by The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). In 2020, Korean gamers created around 265,000 jobs in the country. Seoul also hosts top global gaming event, the PAX Game Convention, which spotlights PC, online, arcade, console, VR/AR, and mobile gaming, as well as offering esports tournaments and talks with game developers. Game developer Npixel raised a ₩60 billion/$54 million Series A round in January 2020.
Reasons to move your startup to Seoul
Seoul Business Agency
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