South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups conducted an inaugural ceremony in Gangnam, Seoul, for three K-Startup Centers (KSC) in Sweden, Finland, and Singapore. The newly established KSCs aims to support the intensive growth and overseas settlement of budding startups.
As a global startup platform, KSCs worldwide aim to support South Korean startups in conducting their businesses outside of the country and connecting startup ecosystems between nations.
Business accelerators, investors, and related organizations from different countries such as Sweden and Finland participated online through video conferences. The event marked the K-startups’ expansion internationally despite the difficulties brought by the COVID pandemic.
This year, KSCs opened in Finland, Helsinki, Stockholm, Sweden, and Singapore, following the opening of KSCs in New Delhi, Seattle, and Tel Aviv in 2019. This year, 279 startups have applied for 92 memberships in six KSCs, proving K-Startup’s overseas demand despite the crisis caused by COVID-19.
Each KSC hosts a range of specialized fields for member startups. Helsinki’s KSC handles digital health startups, while the KSC in Stockholm deals with game and artificial intelligence startups.
Meanwhile, KSCs located in Singapore, Seattle, Israel, and India hosts startups with different fields such as education technology, agriculture & social technology, cybersecurity & fintech, IT service and electric vehicle and, retail and blockchain.
KSC Opening Ceremony
SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun along with Ambassador Eero Suominen of Finland, Ambassador Eric Teo of Singapore, Ambassador Chaim Hosen of Israel, and Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan of India attended the opening ceremony.
Also present were Korea’s SMEs and Startups Agency head Kim Hak-do, and Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Director Kim Kwang-hyon.
Additionally, Ibrahim Bahillan, Swedish Minister for Business Innovation, and Chan Chun Sing, the Minister of Trade and Industry in Singapore, joined the event via a video presentation in which they expressed full support for the startups.
Considering social distancing due to the ongoing pandemic, the event limited the number of onsite participants to around 50 only.
During the opening ceremony, companies chosen for the KSC would conduct accelerators to measure the degree of localization of startups and to advance their developmental strategies through business matching with venture capitals.
Each selected startup would receive a funding of up to 80 million won ($66,600) and 30 million won ($25,000) worth of vouchers along with local shared office space as additional support.