POSCO, in partnership with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and line with the government-backed “Tech Incubator Program for Startup (TIPS) scheme,” opened a new incubator space in Seoul on Wednesday.
Along with the ministry, South Korea’s largest steelmaker inducted the Change Up Ground startup incubator in Gangnam, Seoul. The incubator space would foster the growth of startups as part of the ministry’s TIPS program.
In 2015, the Ministry of SMEs founded the TIPS program as an answer to the U.S. Silicon Valley. The program aims to nurture innovative and promising startups and associate them with successful capital ventures as incubators.
Led by the Ministry, TIPS operates five Gangnam locations with the collaboration of Seoul’s Gangnam District Office.
POSCO would be the first private entity to offer an incubator space of its own.
Currently, some 28 startups specializing in fields ranging from biotech, biomaterials to artificial intelligence (AI) would move into the new seven-story building rented by POSCO in the Gangnam District.
POSCO remodeled the incubator space for startups to rent out for a low price. Startups could enjoy the latest facilities, which include areas such as a video conferencing room, a video filming studio, and phone booths.
The steelmaker selected the startups from candidates at the Change Up Ground.
Hopes for an Innovative Ecosystem
During the inauguration event, POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo said that he hopes Change Up Ground would continue as a reliable partner to venture capitals to foster promising companies that would propel Korea in the tech industry.
Choi added that the best solution to prepare for the rapidly changing and unpredictable future is to actively invest and develop the ecosystem between venture companies and innovative startups to create appropriate businesses.
Meanwhile, Minister of SMEs Park Young-sun hopes that many more startups would innovate the ecosystem of the country’s economy with commitment and enthusiasm.
POSCO said that it aims to develop the infrastructure further to accommodate startups better, helping them exchange technologies, conduct research, and secure investments. The steelmaker also pledged to support the growth of startup companies in Gwangnyang, South Jeolla, and Pohang, North Gyeongsang.