Global ICT companies are accelerating their moves to provide support to Korean start-ups. They cultivate start-ups based on their core technologies, and help them enter overseas markets by forging partnerships. With overseas investors like venture capital firms in Silicon Valley eying start-ups in the nation, the ecosystem for start-ups is becoming animated.
According to industry sources on Aug. 25, Cisco, Google, and IBM are actively seeking to develop new solutions by building partnerships with Korean start-ups that have innovative ideas.
Cisco recently forged a partnership with global accelerator SparkLabs, helping Internet of Everything (IoE) start-ups expand their presence overseas. The IoE, which is an expanded notion of the Internet of Things (IoT) that connects physical objects, intelligently connects people, processes, data, and objects, creating new value.
Among IoE-related start-ups that develop various kinds of sensors and apps, those recommended by SparkLabs can move into the Global Center of Excellence, which is Cisco's IoE innovation center. Selected firms can also get technical advice from Cisco.
After buiding an IoE innovation center in Songdo, Incheon, Cisco developed and introduced an IoE-based solution for building a smart city to the global market in partnership with N3N, a start-up, which specializes in developing IoE virtualizing and management systems.
IBM is also actively nurturing local IoT start-ups. The company participated in the "K-Global Startup, Startup Challenge in the IoT Field" as a partner. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in last April. IBM Korea provided training, technical assistance and mentoring services to selected start-ups at the event. The company plans to provide SoftLayer global cloud infrastructure worth around US$120,000 free of charge for one year.
Venture capital firms in Silicon Valley are aggressively investing in Korean start-ups as well. Amid the Born Global craze, the innovative ideas and mobile technology of local start-ups are receiving a lot of attention. On top of that, as social commerce company Coupang and mobile service provider Yello Mobile received a large amount of investment from venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, big players in the U.S. are reportedly paying attention to the Korean market.
In addition, 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, moved into Google's first Asian start-up "campus" in Seoul and raised funds for start-ups in the nation. Altos Ventures recently made investments in local start-ups, including Coupang, Woowa Brothers, the company behind food delivery apps Baedari-Minjok, Brain Commerce operating Jobplanet, and Channel Breeze running apartment and home rental app Zigbang.