May 20, 2019

Regional venture support centers in S. Korea woo startups

PUBLISHED : March 15, 2019 - 20:47

UPDATED : March 15, 2019 - 20:47

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South Korea’s regional venture support centers on March 15 made the case for new opportunities for growth, in a move to woo startups away metros like the capital city Seoul, in a panel session held at Seoul-based nonprofit startup incubator D. Camp.

Kim Jae-hak, general director at Gangwon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, speaks during apanel session at D. Camp in Seoul on March 15.
(Son Ji-hyoung/The Investor)

Panelists represented the Center for Creative Economy & Innovation branches in Incheon, Gangwon Province, North Gyeongsang Province and North Chungcheong Province. These are part of the facilities’ network comprised of some 20 branches.

Centers from each province have honed specialties through partnerships, panelists said. A center in Gangwon, for example, focuses on startups doing big data-driven health care business through a partnership with state-led Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service. Facilities in North Chungcheong Province encourage startups’ in biotechnology and cosmetics sectors and help them team up with a local university.

Those in North Gyeongsang Province, home to factories of tech giants like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, give startups access to idle factories and help them make prototypes. Facilities in Incheon can help startups pave the way for entry into China, being on the shores of Yellow Sea.

“Starting their business either in Seoul or Pangyo is a thumb rule, but we should contemplate on whether this is optimal for the national community as a whole,” said one of the panelists Kim Jae-hak, general director at Gangwon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation.

The session was part of D. Party, a community-based event sponsored by D. Camp. Also, during the event representatives of eight countries offered a glimpse of startup-friendly environments, such as state-led funding programs and regulatory reliefs.

Attendees at the event were from some 100 organizations, including startups, venture capitalists, startup accelerators, business groups and government officials, as well as embassies and state-led investment agencies from 13 countries.

D. Camp, also known as Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, operates on funding from 20 banks in Korea.

By Son Ji-hyoung (

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