Vision 2030

Seoul begins to make a difference

Startup incubators in Seoul in 2024
Dobong-gu Nowon-gu Gangbuk-gu Seongbuk-gu Dongdaemun-gu Jungnang-gu Seongdong-gu Gwangjin-gu Yongsan-gu Jung-gu Seodaemun-gu Jongno-gu Eunpyeong-gu Mapo-gu Gangdong-gu Songpa-gu Gangnam-gu Seocho-gu Dongjak-gu Gwanak-gu Geumcheon-gu Yeongdeungpo-gu Gangseo-gu Yangcheon-gu Guro-gu
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    Recent Investment Attraction Date
    Company name
    Company description
    Number of employees(unit: number)
    cumulative investment(unit: KRW 100 million)
    Sales (unit: KRW 1,000)
    date of establishment / business history
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    Number of employees(unit: number)
    cumulative investment(unit: KRW 100 million)
    Sales (unit: KRW 1,000)
    date of establishment / business history
    /
    Valuation of the startup ecosystem
    USD 2,110 billion
    Amount of venture funds raised by Seoul Metropolitan Government
    KRW 4.9900 trillion
    Number of startups
    15,119
    Contact incubators 창업지원기관컨택하기검색아이콘
    Contact startups 스타트업컨택하기검색아이콘
    Seoul, a global startup city
    Starting with the 2030 Youth Startup Project Funding Plan in 2009, the City of Seoul Metropolitan has continued its efforts to create a startup ecosystem in which entrepreneurs across different fields can work and grow together by establishing an innovative startup environment, promoting key industries, and providing tailored funding depending on the growth stage.

    To become one of the top five global economic cities by 2030, Seoul aims to establish itself as an innovative city, that will be home to global unicorn startups, based on its aggressive startup policies across various fields, including creating a good environment for investment and supporting promising startups to advance abroad.

    According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 released by Startup Genome, a global startup ecosystem analytics firm, Seoul has been ranked 12th out of 290 global startup ecosystems, with an estimated ecosystem value of $211 billion.

    Startup Genome cited Seoul's strengths as its excellent talent pipeline, innovation-friendly environment, and excellent market access.
    By industry, Seoul's strengths lie in AI & Big Data, Healthcare, and Manufacturing & Robotics, as in the previous year.

    Currently, 20 out of 23 unicorns (unlisted companies with an enterprise value of KRW 1 trillion or more) in South Korea are located in Seoul, indicating that it has optimal conditions for startups.

    Startup Genome forecasts high potential for further growth of Seoul's startup ecosystem as the city is actively promoting the advancement of its startup ecosystem focusing on deep tech, including AI, bio, and advanced manufacturing.

    Furthermore, since 2020, Seoul has been hosting "Try Everything", a global startup festival, to promote the startup ecosystem. It is a place of opportunity for domestic and foreign startups and investors to come together to match companies of mutual interest, conduct investment meetings, and seek cooperation such as technology partnerships.
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    Valuation of Seoul's startup ecosystem in 2023
    Valuation of the startup ecosystem(KRW 10 billion)
    0
    Seoul
    (272 trillion won)
    Global average
    (34.6 billion won)
    50,000
    Initial funding in Seoul(USD 100 million)
    0
    Seoul
    ($3.6 billion)
    Average
    ($970 million)
    40
    Global ranking for Seoul’s startup ecosystem
    0
    12th
    20
    Global startup ecosystem ranking by year
    Silicon Valley
    1
    London
    New York City
    2
    Los Angeles
    4
    Tel Aviv
    5
    Boston
    6
    Beijing
    7
    Singapore
    8
    Shanghai
    9
    Seattle
    10
    Washington, D.C.
    11
    Seoul
    12
    Berlin
    13
    Amsterdam-Delta
    14
    Tokyo
    15
    San Diego
    16
    Toronto-Waterloo
    17
    Paris
    18
    Chicago
    19
    Sydney
    20
    Status of the global startup ecosystem evaluation
    Ecosystem activity
    Financing
    Networking
    Market entry
    Human resources
    Knowledge accumulation
    글로벌 창업생태계 평가 현황
    Ranking City Region Evaluation index
    1 Silicon Valley North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    2 (tie) London Europe
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    2 (tie) New York City North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    4 Los Angeles North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    5 Tel Aviv MENA
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    6 Boston North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    7 Beijing Asia
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    8 Singapore Asia
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    9 Shanghai Asia
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    10 Seattle North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    11 Washington, D.C. North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    12 Seoul Asia
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    13 Berlin Europe
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    14 Amsterdam-Delta Europe
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    15 Tokyo Asia
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    16 San Diego North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    17 Toronto-Waterloo North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    18 Paris Europe
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    19 Chicago North America
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    20 Sydney Oceania
    10
    10
    10
    10
    9
    10
    Unicorn startups in 2022
    Number of unicorns based in Seoul
    20
    Revenue from unicorns
    KRW 3,874 billion
    Number of people employed by unicorns
    597
    Number of unicorns
    33.3% Up
    2021
    2022
    Number of people employed by unicorns
    27% Up
    2021
    2022
    Revenue
    12.9% Down
    2021
    2022
    Global network
    Global Network Status
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      Startup ecosystem archiving

      SEOUL OPEN INNOVATION STORYBOOK

      서울 오픈 이노베이션 스토리북

      2023-06-25

      Startup Recipe Investment Report(Sep)

      In September, investment fell below KRW 1 trillion again to KRW 736.2 billion. If subtracting KRW 450 billion raised by one company, the amount invested in September was less than KRW 300 billion,

      2023-06-25

      Startup Recipe Investment Report(Oct)

      The total sum raised in October was only KRW 325.9 billion, the least amount raised all year. It has slipped below KRW 500 billion for the first time. In the second half of the year,

      2023-06-25

      Startup Recipe Investment Report(Nov)

      The Monthly Startup Investment Report is a monthly report that compiles information on investments attracted by South Korean startups. It covers monthly startup investment news, trends in the startup ecosystem, and key investment sectors.

      2023-06-25

      100 Promising Startups in Seoul STARTUP

      The next unicorn that will change the world
      -Startup status at a glance
      -Startup Introduction

      2023-06-25

      Seoul to host global startups in 'Try Everything 2022'

      The Seoul Metropolitan Government is hosting an annual conference for global startups this coming September, looking to make the city a global platform for startups that need a financial boost and good business advice.

      2023-06-25

      Seoul selected as one of 10 best startup cities

      ‐ Announced by global startup ecosystem research agency Startup Genome, Seoul ranked 10th out of 280 cities ‐ Seoul’s startup ecosystem valued at 223 trillion won ($177 billion), a category of the Funding and Knowledge highly evaluated ‐ Recorded 1st in Funding out of all Asian cities, ‘Invest Seoul’ attracting investment to boost ecosystem ‐ AI, big data, analytics, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and robotics selected as sub-sector strengths ‐ Seoul to enhance performance and create 40 global unicorn companies to rise as one of top 5 economies by 2030

      2023-06-25

      South Korea Seoul #10

      "Seoul is a city that dreams, a city that achieves dreams, and a city that makes dreams. A city where startups and youths become stars through innovation and creativity."

      2023-06-25

      Seoul to Open the Era of Online Startup Ecosystem through “STARTUP PLUS”

      startup Plus (www.startup-plus.kr), first online startup ecosystem of the Seoul Metropolitan Area opened on April 18, Monday.

      2023-06-25

      A Private Sector-Driven Startup Ecosystem is Going Forward in Seoul

      The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced on April 26 th, Tuesday that it would promote the policy called Open Innovation to build a private sector-driven startup ecosystem by breaking away from public sector-centered policies such as R&D support, business space provision, and commercialization support.

      2023-06-25

      La startup coreana DoubleMe sumerge Glòries en una experiencia inmersiva mediante realidad aumentada

      Barcelona, 5 de agosto de 2021 – A partir del 5 de agosto, los visitantes del centro comercial Glòries podrán vivir una experiencia de lo más inmersiva: descubrir el océano con su propio avatar en su móvil gracias a la tecnología de la realidad aumentada.

      2023-06-25

      Tres experiencias inmersivas familiares

      El progreso tecnológico actual es imparable y está comportando un cambio en nuestros hábitos, pero también en nuestras maneras de percibir el mundo.

      2023-06-25

      Cinco startups surcoreanas prueban tecnologías en Glòries

      Cinco startups de Corea del Sur apuestan por Barcelona para probar el desarrollo de tecnologías de última generación.

      2023-06-25
      Seoul Vision 2023 Fund
      ‘City which builds future competitiveness by creating a dynamic investment ecosystem’ From 2019 to 2022, Seoul created the Seoul Future Innovation Growth Fund, under which a total of 60 funds were established to invest and manage KRW 3.4 trillion in 470 companies, and focused on investing in early-stage startups and solidifying a startup ecosystem.

      By discovering promising startups and establishing an aggressive investment environment, Seoul will raise KRW 5 trillion for the Seoul Vision 2030 Fund by 2026 to lay the foundation for the growth of global unicorn startups representing Seoul.
      Asset management firm for the Seoul Future Innovation Growth Fund
      2020
      Confirm
      Confirm
      2021
      2022
      Confirm
      Confirm
      2023
      Total investments by year (Unit: KRW 100 million)
      2019
      527(2.2%)
      2020
      2,987(12.6%)
      2021
      9,030(38.2%)
      2022
      7,466(31.5%)
      2023
      3,573(15.5%)

      As of October 2023

      Investments by fund sector (Unit: KRW 100 million)

      As of October 2023

      Number of startups by fund investment (Unit: Number of companies)

      As of October 2023

      Investment activities by industry
      ICT
      ICT투자활동
      Biotech and healthcare
      바이오헬스케어투자활동
      Entertainment
      엔터테인먼트투자활동
      Retail, service, and education
      유통서비스교육투자활동
      General manufacturing
      일반제조투자활동
      Others
      기타투자활동

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      Startups funded by Seoul
      ‘City which is there for startups to scale up’Beginning with the Youth Startup 1000 Project, which selects and incubates 1,000 teams of young entrepreneurs per year, since 2009, Seoul has promoted full-fledged startup policies to boost the startup ecosystem.

      To foster the ecosystem by area and industry, such as Mapo Seoul Startup Hub, Hongneung Bio Hub, and Yangjae AI Hub, Seoul has continuously expanded its startup hubs for startup incubation, product commercialization, and networking and incubated more than 14,000 companies from 2012 to March 2023 (cumulatively), generating KRW 5.8 trillion in revenue, attracting KRW 1.5 trillion in investments, and creating more than 24,000 jobs.
      Number of incubator companies(Unit: companies)

      As of October 2023

      Sales figures(Unit: million won)

      As of October 2023

      Attracted investment amount(Unit: million won)

      As of October 2023

      Intellectual property rights(Unit: counts)

      As of October 2023

      Number of employees(Unit: people)

      As of October 2023

      Funding and operation status for startup support facilities in Seoul
      시창업지원시설 지원운영현황
      Number of fostered companies(number) Corporate sales(million won) Number of companies to attract investment Investment attraction(million won) Number of intellectual property cases(cases)
      Seoul Startup Hub Gongdeok 105 116,960 57 51,129 160
      Seoul Startup Hub Seongsu 29 57,049 20 17,928 109
      Seoul Startup Growth Center 20 10,700 8 6,800 129
      Seoul Startup Didimteo 40 2,097 2 230 8
      Youth Entrepreneurship Dream 20 1,628 1 50 26
      Seoul Startup Center Gwanak 15 3,604 18 3,593 14
      Seoul Startup Hub Changdong 27 34,761 9 12,066 68
      Seoul Startup Hub M+ 75 53,546 14 38,063 246
      Y Vally 11 5,307 2 27 52
      Seoul Global Startup Talents Hub 5 2,464 2 2,060 5
      Seoul New Utilization Plaza Startup Support Center 30 21,859 3 700 29
      G Valley Startup Cube 52 15,640 7 906 258
      Seoul Fintech Lab 100 54,569 30 51,604 129
      Seoul Game Content Center 13 3,825 6 2,114 0
      Seoul AI Hub 93 72,435 45 50,786 0
      Seoul Bio Hub 129 6,666 11 9,332 206
      Seoul Fashion Hub 59 11,632 1 700 55
      Seoul Food Tech Startup Center 50 28,573 12 3,307 144
      Social Venture Hub 15 12,314 10 8,850 44
      Seoul Tourism Plaza 15 9,717 1 3,350 0
      Seoul Design Incubating Center 38 6,137 4 130 72
      Seoul Fintech Lab2 40 4,995 8 3,514 60

      As of the end of December 2023, Annual update

      Seoul, open innovation
      ‘City where extraordinary startups and large and medium-sized companies collaborate and grow together’Beyond the direct support of creating public sector-led startup support facilities and providing support programs, Seoul supports startup growth as a coordinator of a startup ecosystem platform that helps startups develop self-sustainability.

      Large and medium-sized companies adopt startups' innovative technology to obtain the technology that takes the lead in the future, while startups make use of the funding and infrastructure of large and medium-sized companies to enter the market and scale up.

      To build an evolving open innovation ecosystem where large and medium-sized companies and startups can grow together, Seoul will continue to expand its collaboration network and proactively prepare opportunities for startups to scale up.
      Number of large and medium-sized company partners
      91
      16
      Number of startups discovered
      835
      12
      Partners
      POSCO
      메르세데스-벤츠코리아
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      Best practices
      Sector
      Future Mobility / Digital Innovation
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      PiQuant
      Item
      Object component analysis using spectroscopic analysis IoT solution
      Performance
      • Mercedes-Benz Korea and PoC to block the source of drunk driving
      • U.S. Bill Gates Foundation Attracts Investment and Enters Partnerships
      • Sales of KRW 1.7 billion in 2021 and KRW 3 billion in 2022
      Sector
      New energy/environment/chemistry, materials/mobility
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      EUCNC
      Item
      Energy-saving and carbon-reducing eco-friendly step heat paint
      Performance
      • S-OIL Direct Investment Successfully S-OIL 900 Million Won
      • Registration of the Public Procurement Service has been completed through certification of green technology and designation of innovative products.
      Sector
      Upcycle using beer byproducts, eco-friendly/ESG
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      RAFIQ
      Item
      Development of plant softening technology cosmetics
      Performance
      • Development and launch of OB beer branding products (emple, hand cream, etc.)
      • Quantum Ventures and Hana Ventures have successfully attracted 5 billion won in investment in Series A
      Sector
      -
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      petnow
      Item
      Artificial intelligence based pet biometrics
      Performance
      • After the 21st IMP selection, POSCO 250 million direct investment and TIPS program selection
      • Winning the CES Innovation Award in 2022 and succeeding in subsequent investment of KRW 4.7 billion
      Sector
      Financial/insurance, manufacturing/service, ICT, digital transformation technology
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      Fides Advisory
      Item
      Development of new corporate credit analysis solutions based on big data
      Performance
      • Development of PoC with DB Hitech on Market Risk of Semiconductor Raw Materials
      • Successfully attracted a total of 800 million won in investment, including 100 million won for Ensl Partners linked to SBA and TIPS selection.
      Sector
      Smart City, Industrial Convergence, Robotics, Renewable Energy, Digital Twin
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      Timwork
      Item
      Construction Information Record Management Services (Digitalization of Construction Industry)
      Performance
      • Selected the best prize in the 2022 contest and proceeded with lakeside construction and joint 5G specialized network PoC
      • SBA's direct investment of 100 million won and a total of 800 million won, including Picnic Ventures, succeeded in attracting investment.
      Sector
      Smart healthcare, smart safety, smart construction technology, new business
      Corporate Performance
      Company Name
      JDSolution
      Item
      Directional Acoustic Signal Processing Algorithm
      Performance
      • Proceeding PoC related to safety of construction sites of Hyundai Engineering & Construction
      • SBA-linked Fibonacci Asset Management and Overseas Investment Successfully Attracts KRW 2 Billion Investment

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