According to the IT industry on April 18, the "Startup Genome Project" headquartered in San Francisco in the USA, compared and analyzed start-up ecosystems of 55 cities in 28 countries in its recently published "2017 Global Start-up Ecosystem Report".
The start-up Genome project has selected and ranked the top 20 ecosystems of major start-up cities around the world since 2012. This year’s report began to include cities in Korea and China as comparison subjects.
The report estimated the value of Seoul’s entire start-up ecosystem at US$2.4 billion. Seoul's total GDP was US$688 billion which was 2.5 times the average of 55 global start-up cities, but Seoul’s start-up ecosystem was valued at US$2.4 billion, only 60% of the average of ecosystems of start-up cities. The report also found that the number of start-ups in Seoul reached up to 3,400, which was twice the average (1,762) of start-up cities.
Seoul did not make the top 20 in the report, but ranked 21st in the investment category and 25th in the performance category, among detailed divisions consisting of performances, investment, market reach, experience, human resources and resources attraction.
Initial investment in start-ups in Korea was US$174,000 per start-up, which was 70% of the average of start-up cities which was US$252,000. "Start-ups in Seoul have conditions such as institutional support from the government, investors with abundant funds, and markets showing enthusiastic responses," the report said. The median of the time it took for Seoul startups to hire engineers was 15 days, much shorter than the world average of 41 days. Engineers’ average wage in Seoul was US$34,000 per year, which was about 70% of that of start-up cities which was US$49,000.
The biggest weakness of Seoul start-ups lied in the market reach segment. The proportion of foreign customers for Seoul start-ups (14%) was much lower than the average (23%), and that of non-Asian foreign customers was only 8%.
In the report, overall, Silicon Valley came in first, followed by New York and London. Beijing, which was included in the report for the first time with Seoul, placed 4th and Shanghai 8th.