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Korean Venture Firms Pushing to Create Innovation Ecosystem with Large Businesses
A Step toward Win-Win Cooperation
Korean Venture Firms Pushing to Create Innovation Ecosystem with Large Businesses
  • By Michael Herh
  • August 31, 2018, 10:27
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Ahn Keon-joon (third from left on the center table), chairman of the Korea Venture Business Association, gives an opening remark at the 18th Venture Summer Forum at Hyatt Regency Jeju in Jeju Province on August 30.

"The government is actively pursuing for a fair economy as one of its three economic policy goals, the other two being income-led growth and innovative growth. No matter how much fairness is emphasized, however, there will be no progress unless big business groups change their attitudes. But the government's push for a fair economy is an opportunity for us. The Korea Venture Business Association will work with the five largest conglomerates (Samsung, Hyundai, SK, LG and Lotte) in order to form a consultative body to discuss the creation of a Korean-style innovation ecosystem,” said Ahn Keon-joon, chairman of the Korea Venture Business Association at a meeting with reporters at the 18th Venture Summer Forum held in Jeju Province on August 30. "I think we should not miss this chance of cooperation between large and small and mid-sized companies."


The association is expected to reiterate its longstanding demands that large companies stop stealing technology from small firms and contribute to the creation of a normal M&A culture. "Large Korean companies say there are few excellent venture firms in Korea that they want to acquire by paying adequate prices. But I think that is a pretext and they tend to apply ‘a Korea discount’ to local venture firms when they push for M&As,” Ahn said.

The association started to form a consultative body with the five largest business groups as Ahn believes that it can contribute to building a win-win ecosystem. "The private sector’s lead can guarantee the continuity of innovative growth," he said.

In order to achieve this goal, the association will designate the next one year period as a startup nurturing period and provide more support to startups during the period.

"Last year, the Korea Venture Business Association organized a start-up committee and initiated efforts to improve the regulations on crowdfunding and online to offline (O2O). But we feel that such efforts have been insufficient to cope with ever increasing regulations,” Ahn said. “We will identify and improve the regulations that hinder the growth of start-ups by building an anti-startup regulation detection system.”

Meanwhile, referring to the start-up support policies of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Ahn said, "In terms of nurturing startups, the government is doing well but its policy lacks balance. There are about 65,000 startups in Korea, and the government is not paying enough attention to these companies."