South Korea is the world’s most connected country with 95% of the LTE coverage. Korea has the fastest average internet connection and the highest number of broadband services per capita in the world.
Korea is a great place for consumer testing. With almost half of the country’s population in Seoul, Koreans are known to be early adopters of new technologies. They are eager to be the first to buy and use newly released technology.
Collaboration with Major Korean Companies
In recent years, a great number of major Korean companies have expressed interest in collaborating with startups from around the world. The K-Startup Grand challenge program offers the opportunity for you and your startup to interact with the most innovative and influential Korean companies.
Gateway to Asia
Located in East Asia, South Korea has strong cultural and economic ties with China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and more. Take numerous advantages of South Korea’s favorable location to launch your business into the Asian market.
Korea’s startup ecosystem is active and well-designed, attracting the attention of investors, accelerators, and incubators from all around the world. Google, for example, launched their first ever Asian Google Campus in Seoul in 2015. Facebook is also joining the scene and further empowering Korea’s IT developers through their New innovation Lab opened in Pangyo in April, 2018. Projects between conglomerates and startups are active under the government directions. For instance, conglomerates such as Samsung electronics, Hanwha, SK Telecom, CJ groups, GS groups are directly initiating accelerating or venture programs.
Strong Government Support
Korean government is constantly improving the infrastructure that supports the startup ecosystem.
For example, the government has budgeted USD 1.03 billion in data related industry for 2019. Also in the recent press conference, the Korean President Moon Jae In has asserted to actively assist startups to grow into 'Scale-up' stage. By making colossal exclusive funds, the government suggests to invest USD 12 billion for the next 4 years. Furthermore, the government has also set an objective of increasing the number of unicorn startups by 20 until 2020.
Korea’s Cultural Influence
The symbolic K-Pop boy group, BTS has ranked first in Billboard 200. In April 2019, BTS's new Album 'Map of the soul: Persona' has exceptionally ranked first for three times in the ITunes top album chart of 86 countries. The tremendous popularity of the 'Korean Wave' is significantly immense as the Korean Wave contents business has gained USD 2.43 billion abroad in 2018, recording the highest surplus and a 73% increase from the previous year.
Korean Never Sleeps
Koreans are the definition of the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle. Nightlife after work hours is always buzzing. Restaurants, bars, and events go all night long.
Safety & Security
South Korea is one of the safest countries in the world with the extremely low crime rate. Furthermore, Korea has established a patent law system where startups could efficiently bring their creative ideas under the government protection.
Korean Market Potential
With the domestic market size of about USD 736.21 billion, Korea has the 15th biggest internal market in the world. Despite the tiny population and the small domestic demand market size, the Korean domestic market has the great purchasing power, acknowledged by many global firms for a long time. Such environment may provide a footstone for various global startups.