In March of this year, the Start-up Campus officially opened in Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do, welcoming with it the addition of the Seoul Sangnam-dong K-ICT Born2Global Center (aka, the Born2Global Center). The Born2Global Center is a start-up incubator affiliated with the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning. The center, which provides support to start-ups created with the intent of entering foreign markets, currently houses 46 companies selected based on assessments of their individual business value, technological value, and organizational capabilities.
Each of the Born2Gobal Center’s start-up companies, housed on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the building, occupy one independent office (enough work space for up to five people), which is provided free of charge for one year. Offices are not only outfitted with basic office furniture including desks, chairs, and cabinets, but are also provided with power and wireless LAN. The center also includes open meeting spaces for prospective entrepreneurs, start-ups, and investors to gather and discuss ideas as well as conference rooms and a video conference room. In short, the center provides everything that a start-up company needs in the early stages of its development.The center’s overseas launch program for start-up companies consists of three parts: consultation services, overseas demo days, and global business training. Consultation services are offered by an in-house consultant employed by the Born2Global Center, and consultation focuses on the areas of legislation, patents, accounting, and overseas marketing. Although the center currently houses 42 companies, consultation services are available for a total of 100 member companies, each of which have passed the center’s requirements. Overseas demo days are held by the center four times a year, once in each of the following locations: Europe, the USA, Japan, and China. Of the center’s member companies, a total of 40 companies (10 companies per demo region) are selected for participation in the demo days. Global business training is also provided by the center, offering educational content tailored to the needs of ICT start-ups. Training covers topics such as sales, marketing, and attracting business investments.Recently, Born2Global Center has been engaging in an increased variety of endeavors and programs that aim to enhance the global capabilities of start-up companies seeking to enter foreign markets. Activities address all stages of the entrepreneurial process, from establishing a business strategy to attracting investors and engaging in marketing. Specific examples of these activities include the recent signing of an MOU with the Yozma Group (an Israeli venture capital firm) to support the overseas launch of start-up companies and the joint operation of the “MIT Global Entrepreneurship Boot Camp,” a program that the Born2Global Center has been conducting with MIT since March to cultivate outstanding start-ups. Born2Global Center President Kim Jong-gap emphasized the importance of start-ups saying, “ICT start-ups are the pillars of the future of Korean industry.” He added, “We are focusing the center’s resources on providing space to start-ups so that they can concentrate their energies on engaging in creative activities. It is also our goal to help start-ups with things like attracting investment and entering foreign markets—things that may be difficult for many start-ups in their early stages to achieve on their own.”