The South Korean government and Facebook joined hands on April 4 to help promising Korean startups in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) sectors access to the global market.
Choi Jae-you, vice minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, signed an agreement with Facebook to launch the “Digital Contents R&D Program for Global Market” in the headquarters of Facebook Korea on April 4.
Under the agreement between the Ministry and Facebook, around 10 AR and VR startups will be given an opportunity to receive mentoring services on development of customized technologies and business models in the overseas market for 10 weeks from engineers of the VR platform Oculus, an affiliate of Facebook. It is the first time that Facebook promises a foreign government the mentoring for companies.
“This time’s project for VR and AR startups with Facebook will be a starting point to establish an ecosystem of virtuous circle for Korean digital contents expanding their presence in the global market,” Vice Minister Choi said.
“Korea has a world-class technologies for internet access, games, video streaming,” Alex Stamos, chief security officer of Facebook, said, adding, “Facebook would like to help the VR and AR technologies of Korean promising startups reach the world-class level by connecting them to Facebook."
The startups, which will be chosen through a public competition, will have the opportunity to develop their business ideas with US-based accelerators and venture capitalists for 10 weeks as well as pitch their ideas at a demo day scheduled for July.
The global VR market is estimated to reach US$11.2 billion in 2020, with the VR headsets market reaching US$7.9 billion and VR entertainment market worth US$3.3 billion, according to market researcher IHS.
The Korean government will spend a total of 400 billion won (U$360 million) in the sector by 2020.