The Daejeon Creative Economy Innovation Center, jointly established by the SK Group, is set to seek start-ups to enter the Middle Eastern market. With continuous investment proposals from China, it is accelerating the expansion of creative economy models to the global market.
The SK Group and the Daejeon Creative Economy Innovation Center held a contest last month for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises wishing to enter the Middle Eastern market, and are currently in the process of selecting the final candidates.
The project first started when the SK Group and the Daejeon Creative Economy Innovation Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) when President Park Geun-hye visited the region in March. The STC requested the South Korean government to provide assistance about the Korean venture firm nurturing model in order to prepare for a post-oil-based economy.
Once the selection is completed, the finalists will be the first venture firms under the creative economy model to enter Saudi Arabia. In particular, it is very meaningful in that Korea’s creative economy helps the Saudi government brace for a post-oil era.
The selection will be participated in by Middle Eastern experts to focus on examining whether or not the finalists have suitable business models for local businesses in the region. Two finalists will be announced next January and will be sent to Saudi Arabia in February.
The local business will be conducted according to the MOU signed between SK and the Daejeon Creative Economy Innovation Center and the STC, such as the provision of incubating facilities and infrastructure, support of networking and marketing to develop the market, and the provision of joint opportunities to attract investors.
The STC will provide free office space for the incubating center called “Inspire U” in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Making use of advantages owned by the state-run company, it will also provide market information and networking with investors in a bid to help them operate businesses in the local market.
The STC also intends to select a number of Saudi venture firms to send to Korea within next year in a bid to expand to other Asian countries. Korea has strengths as a testbed in the Information and Communications sector. STC expects that it will help Saudi venture firms acquire advanced Information and Communications technologies.