- Startups in Seoul
- Start-up Ecosystem in Seoul
Start-up Ecosystem in Seoul
Try Everything, Seoul
According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 released by 'Startup Genome', a global startup ecosystem analysis organization in the United States, Seoul is ranked 10th out of 280 cities with a global startup ecosystem. Moreover, its startup ecosystem value is evaluated to be 54 trillion won.
Startup Genome pointed out an outstanding talent pipeline and large amounts of R&D investment as the strengths of Seoul.
In particular, Seoul ranked high (with the global top four ranking) in knowledge accumulation,
which is evaluated using research achievements and patents.
Of the eleven domestic unlisted unicorn companies valued at over 1 trillion won, nine companies are located in Seoul.
Hence, it can be said that Seoul has a rich corporate environment.
Furthermore, Startup Genome has evaluated the growth potential of Seoul's startup ecosystem to be high in that the city of Seoul has actively implemented its startup policy. For example, the city has created a cluster of startup bases across all areas of Seoul.
Startup Ecosystem Value223 trillion won
Early-stage Funding2.9 trillion won
Ranking of Global StartupNo.10
※ Source : Startup Genome, Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022
Total valuation by year(Unit: 100 million won)
The investment subvention amount by year for the early phase(Unit: 100 million won)
Global startup ecosystem ranking by year
Status of the global startup ecosystem evaluation
Seoul, Creating the virtuous circle
of a startup ecosystem
The Seoul Metropolitan Government created the Future Innovation Growth Fund in 2018 to lead job creation and economic growth by investing intensively in start-ups, venture companies, and small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) in major industries.
The Future Innovation Growth Fund is a fund that intensively invests in six fields including industry 4.0, smart city, cultural content, startup support, re-challenge support, and bio/medical. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has invested 168.6 billion won in this fund and has raised a fund of 3,836.4 billion won, completing 1,363 investments as of February 2023.
The initial goal was 1.431 trillion won over five years by 2022. However, Seoul City’s active investment in financial resources combined with investments from the private sector allowed the city to achieve 268% of the goal.
Total amount of subvention3.8 trillion won
Total amount of investment2.3 trillion won
Total number of companies1,363 companies
※ As of the Feb 2023
Average investment amount by year(Unit: 100 million won)
Investment status by field(Unit: 100 million won)
Classification for investment-attracting companies(2021)
Classification of the investment round(2021)
Seoul, together with the scale-up of startups
The city of Seoul has implemented full-scale startup policies since 2009 to invigorate the startup ecosystem,
beginning with the 'Young People Startup 1000 Project', which selects and cultivates 1,000 prospective young entrepreneurs each year.
The city has continually expanded startup bases for startup incubation, commercialization, and networking to foster the ecosystem
by district and industry by operating startup support centers such as Mapo Seoul Startup Hub, Hongneung Bio Hub, and Yangjae AI Hub.
From 2012 to December 2021, the city of Seoul has fostered about 13,000 companies. Through these companies,
the city of Seoul has achieved 5 trillion won in sales, attracted investments of 854.3 billion won, and created over 17000 jobs.
Number of startups14,195
supported by Seoul City
Sales of the startups5.3 trillion won
supported by Seoul City
Number of employees of21,340
by Seoul City
Seoul, Running together with the members of the startup ecosystem
The Seoul Metropolitan Government, as a public domain, is making great efforts to revitalize the start-up ecosystem in cooperation with the private sector. In order to strengthen the capabilities of Seoul-based start-ups, Seoul City also provides a variety of support programs to nurture start-ups together with big businesses, institutional investors, and specialized agencies including Seoul Business Agency(SBA).
Seoul City also operates 40 start-up support facilities together with the private sector professionals and promotes the scale-up of start-ups via running over 1,810 support programs.
Both the public and private sectors will work together to make Seoul City a good place to start a business and a city where you can find good quality jobs.
Start-up support program1,810
(2017 ~ Dec. 2022)
Start-up support facilities26
(as of Feb. 2023)
Start-up support partner184
organizations with Seoul City
(as of Dec. 2021)
Number of startup programs by year(Unit: companies)
Number of Seoul startup support facilities
Start-up support facilities in Seoul(As of the end of December 2021)
|Facility name||Number of fostered companies||Corporate sales
|Number of companies to attract investment||Investment attraction
|Number of intellectual property cases
|No. of employees (persons)
|Seoul Startup Hub Gongdeok||128||86,985||59||559,895||115||753|
|Seoul Startup Hub Seongsu||22||23,391||7||15,527||90||171|
|Seoul Startup Hub Changdong||15||9,658||4||28,380||59||186|
|Seoul Startup Growth Center||20||7,577||12||8,480||67||83|
|Seoul Startup Didimteo||45||6,944||5||1,766||42||169|
|Youth Entrepreneurship Dream||19||13,973||2||1,400||139||46|
|Seoul Startup Center Gwanak||9||3,431||10||9,307||36||57|
|AI Yangjae hub||77||47,435||26||55,658||709||669|
|Seoul Bio Hub||94||19,137||63||61,742||365||478|
|Social Venture Hub||12||13,177||7||6,618||22||165|
|Seoul Blockchain Support Center||32||10,782||6||3,314||293||264|
|Seoul Fintech Lab||88||81,363||37||70,835||92||635|
|Seoul Game Content Center||19||5,209||5||1,380||4||44|
|Seoul Food Startup Center||61||23,495||16||9,574||147||224|
|Seoul Design Foundation Center||23||3,396||8||590||87||16|
|Seoul Partners House||19||13,490||15||4,412||98||51|
|Seodaemun-gu Startup Support Center||26||2,332||5||467||18||27|
|Seoul Women’s Craft Center, the Arium||53||1,217||-||-||37||21|
|Seoul Startup Hub m+||50||-||-||-||-||437|
|Y Valley Startup Base||23||20,891||5||9,190||50||27|