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Seoul is determined to be a leading global startup hub, to harvest and encourage the creative and innovative spirit of the people and to decrease the barriers for entrepreneurs.

Notable Startups
startup iconWemakeprice
startup iconMusinsa
startup iconDunamu
Top Coworking Spaces
startup iconRehoboth G Campus
startup iconBitcoin Center Korea
Top Accelerators
startup iconSparkLabs Korea
startup iconFUTUREPLAY
Notable Organizations
startup iconSeoul Business Agency
startup iconGlobal Entrepreneurs Foundation (GEF)
View complete Seoul startup ecosystem database

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Key Stats of the Seoul Startup Ecosystem

Rankings provided by
Top Industries
Hardware & IoT icon
Hardware & IoT
#12 worldwide
Social & Leisure icon
Social & Leisure
#13 worldwide
Ecommerce & Retail icon
Ecommerce & Retail
#18 worldwide
Ecosystem Rankings
National ranking
1st
In South Korea
Regional Ranking
5th
In East Asia
Global Ranking
25th
worldwide

Seoul Ecosystem Landscape

Taxes and Incentives
    • Foreign startup support: the government offers grants through programs like the K-Startup Grand Challenge, which includes provisions of visas for founders.

    • Visas: The government announced in January 2022 that a special startup visa category is in the pipeline.

    • Tax breaks for angel investors and VCs : Tax deduction will be up to 50% for investments of up to 50 million won. Tax breaks that were earlier available to only high-risk ventures were expanded to include startups that are less than three years old.

    • Future plans: In July 2021, the South Korean government announced Korean New Deal 2.0 which envisages an increased fiscal investment planned to be made by 2025 of 220 trillion won. Digital New Deal is part of this and the government plans increased investment in the digital economy, metaverse, cloud computing, blockchain and convergence.

    Investor Landscape
    • In 2021, the value of new venture capital investments in South Korea amounted to about 9.2 trillion won ($7.7 billion), up from about 6.9 trillion won in 2020

    • Newly launched venture funds in South Korea in the January-September period of 2021 rose to 268, topping a total of 206 for the entire 2020.

    • South Korea had 357 unicorns-to-be with corporate values between 100 billion won($83.5B) and 1 trillion won($834.8B) as of the end of August 2021.

    • Korea Venture Investment Corp. is a government-backed fund of funds management institution in Korea.

    • South Korea has a sovereign fund- Korea Investment Fund that boosts the startup ecosystem.

    • Some prominent accelerators and incubators include: N15, TIPS, K-Startup Grand Challenge an the Seoul Global Startup Center.

    Notable events and communities
    • Startup Seoul- English speaking community for startups in Seoul which organizes networking and mentorship events.

    • COMEUP- One of South Korea’s biggest startup and tech conferences organized by the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups and government body KISED (Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development).

    • Startup Alliance - Helps Korean startups grow and expand overseas. Startup Alliance organizes regular networking events.

    • Pangyo Techno Valley - is a global convergence R&D hub and an innovation cluster, with a startup campus offering affordable office spaces.

Read more about Seoul startup ecosystem

Why Seoul is a great City to live in

South Korea’s buzzing capital has emerged as a favorite of tourists and expatriates in recent years. Seoul is a city that effortlessly blends history and modern architecture, from the Gyeongbokgung Palace built in 1395 to modern buildings like the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the Lotte World Tower. Here is a roundup of reasons that make this fast-paced city a great place to move to.

Why Seoul is a great city to live in
Population
12m
as of 2019
GDP
$8,830
per capita
Cost of Living
$1,740
per person and month
Read more about life in Seoul

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