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Google Opens First Asia Campus for Startups in Seoul
Real Creative Economy
Google Opens First Asia Campus for Startups in Seoul
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • May 11, 2015, 03:30
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Google opened its first Asian startup campus, a system to support and facilitate global entrepreneurs, in Seoul on May 8, and expectations are growing for Korean start-ups will begin to go global.

Through its “Campus Seoul,” Google will help develop Korea’s creative ideas into creating local start-ups and provide a platform to help them tap into overseas markets. However, it won’t directly invest in specific start-ups.

Local start-ups at Campus Seoul will have the opportunity to reach out to more users around the world using Google’s open platform, while Google creates economic value, including the enhancement of service use, by incubating start-ups using its services.

Excluding Google Campus in the U.S., the Campus Seoul is the third Google start-up center to open in the world, following two other campuses in London and Tel Aviv. Google's Campus London has attracted investment of US$110 million (119 billion won) and created jobs for 1,800 workers in the last three years since its establishment. The campus in Tel Aviv has also created a synergy effect in Israel’s start-up ecosystem with the support of the Tel Aviv Angel Group.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) has expectations that Google’s advanced start-up support system and its global network wil contribute to the globalization of Korea’s venture ecosystem through this Campus Seoul.

In particular, it expects that local start-ups will build relationships with overseas start-ups, global accelerators and venture capital firms. The ministry also expects that by targeting the global market from the beginning of starting their business, the participants at Campus Seoul will attract more global investment. Previously, the global K-Startup program, which was jointly supported by the MSIP and Google, created 77 start-ups and attracted 25.3 billion won (US$23.22 million) in investment from 2012 to last year.

With the company underlining that this is a favorable opportunity to start your own business, Google also emphasized the value of Seoul.

It said that Seoul is the perfect place to test next-gen IT industry since it has the highest smartphone penetration rates and Internet of Things (IoT) utilization rates. In accordance with these traits, Google is hoping that Campus Seoul can become an entrance window for overseas companies to try to make inroads into the Asian market.

The will of the government authorities to incubate start-ups also stands out. Attending the opening ceremony for Google Campus Seoul, President Park Geun-hye said during the congratulatory address, “We will seek to develop South Korea into the fastest growing global start-up hub in the world. Focusing more on the qualitative aspects of business start-ups in the future, the government will actively promote technology and global business start-ups and support the privately-led venture ecosystem to grow more healthily.”