Pangyo, the South Korean Silicon Valley, is emerging as one of the most fascinating startup hubs in Asia to connect next information communications technology (ICT) stars to the global market.
The Korean government is preparing for establishment of an over 582,000 square feet startup campus in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province in order to nurture domestic startups and venture companies by providing them with a stable business space where venture capitalists (VCs), angels, accelerators and supporting institutions can conveniently exchange ideas.
The Born2Global Center is the main agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to implement the goal above through converging different industrial sectors mostly with information and communications technologies to generate new business opportunities and foster the growth of startups at K-GlobalStartupHub@StartupCampus.
More than 60 startups with global entry potential have been selected by the Born2Global, global VCs and accelerators.
The startups are offered facilities such as office rooms, meeting rooms, conference rooms and co-working spaces in addition to benefits exclusively provided by the Born2Global. Furthermore, opportunities are provided for them to be involved in a wide range of businesses developments, including training, working at practical jobs, and participation in conferences, seminars and business meetings.
The Born2Global provides opportunities for the startups to present their business models to key investors and potential business partners to raise funding and level up their businesses. Moreover, The Born2Global helps startups build strategic alliances with investors and business partners at home and abroad. In effect, such an alliance has been making investment attraction chances and get evaluations of startups’ potential for a success in the global market.
The Born2Global selects startups with global entry potential and provides them with membership services. The startup center has supported more than 100 startups every year, providing them with one-on-one consulting services fit for global market entry from expert groups including lawyers, patent attorneys, accountants, labor attorneys, investment specialists, business development and marketing experts. In-house experts also provide customized one-on-one consulting services that focus on helping startups to reach global markets beyond the traditional mentoring of corporate management tactics.
Founded in September 2013, the Born2Global has become a strong base for successful investment attraction for local startups and succeeded in attracting over US$ 133.2 million for 62 startups.
In addition, Born2Global’s experts have conducted 4,537 consulting services to 2,921 startups, including 358 overseas patent applications, 198 overseas business contracts and alliances, and 26 overseas incorporations.
Startups supported by the Born2Global are already paying off. ASD Korea is one of the examples. Established in 2013 and attracted an initial investment of 1.1 billion won, ASD Korea has helped enterprises and service providers extend their own ecosystem with “Cloud for Business” service, posting 1.6 billion won in sales in 2014. The Born2Global provided legal, accounting, and marketing services, and secured a spot in the B2G Global Connect Overseas Demo Day in Silicon Valley and New York, helping the startup draw the funding.
Another startup SmartStudy has attracted a total of US$10.8 million from the global venture capitalists like NXC, IBK Capital, and KDB Capital. With legal, accounting, and marketing supports, SmartStudy launched a series of 170 apps and has accumulated over 85 million global downloads with monthly 8.8 million active users. Their flagship app, PINKFONG Best Kids Songs and Stories, has been the top-grossing education app in 98 countries, and the YouTube channel brings in about 1.5 million daily views.
Lastly, Stratio, a Short-Wave Infrared (SWIF) image sensor developer, has received a Phase 2 SBIR grant of US$750,000 from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) for its innovative technology. The Born2Global provided legal, accounting, marketing services while providing opportunities for Straio to participate in a global Demo Day.
“We believe that startups be able to become independent in near future through development of their own unique business models that can compete with those of global companies,” Kim Jong-kap, Chief Executive Director of Born2Global.