Have you read our article about what the business culture is like in North Korea? Well, just across the border might be one of the largest developing startup hubs in the world so this is what it’s like to be a startup in South Korea.
Since 2013 the South Korean Government has been pledging $2.1 Billion per year to the local startup ecosystem. That’s approximately 7% of the country’s budget.
In a bid to have 2000 startups established by 2018 the South Korean Government has managed to invest the worlds largest amount of funds in Startups and SME’s. Korea’s top 20 banks have also joined forces to create ‘The Bank’s Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs’, a $450 Million startup foundation, focused on creating co-working space and networking opportunities.
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South Korea is one of the world’s wealthiest nations and the government is eager to financially back you with billions ready to invest every year.
2. Mobile And Internet Penetration
With one of the most advanced mobile markets South Korea has the 4th highest mobile penetration in the world (83%) and highest credit card penetration in the world (5 per person on average).
3. High Opportunity And Low Competition
Unlike Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, it is not overly saturated, meaning there are opportunities without thousands of companies competing in the same market.
4. The K-Startup Grand Challenge
In an effort to make the startup industry more diverse the Government created an accelerator for international startups. The K-Startup Grand Challenge is a 4-month all-expenses paid accelerator aimed to help foreigners enter the Asian market.
5. Google’s Campus Seoul
In 2015 Google operated their campus designed for local entrepreneurs to learn, share ideas, and launch startups.
500 Startups entrepreneur Tim Chae kicked off the $15 Million micro fund ‘500Kimchi’ in 2016. This Silicon Valley native saw the potential in the region and coined Seoul the ‘Pearl in an Oyster’ when it comes to startups.
South Korean Startups To Watch
Funding received: 85M
This space was founded in 2010 and is the Asian version of Groupon by connecting customers with affordable prices.
Funding received: 156M
This startup is an e-commerce website specialising in Korean beauty products selling to the US, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Dot is hoping to make a big impact on the marginalised community of the vision impaired and deaf-blind. Dot watch is an affordable braille smartwatch retailing at $290.
So, hoping to infiltrate the Asian Market? What are you waiting for! South Korea is the place to start.
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