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Seoul Startup Ecosystem

Try Everything, Seoul

According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 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 223 trillion won.

Startup Genome pointed out an outstanding talent pipeline and large amounts of innovation-friendly environment as the strengths of Seoul. By industry, it was found to have strengths in AI & Big Data, Healthcare, and Manufacturing & Robotics.

Currently, 15 of the 18 domestic unicorn companies (corporate value of 1 trillion won or more, unlisted) are located in Seoul, providing optimal conditions for starting a business.
Startup Genome predicts a high potential for further growth in the Seoul's startup ecosystem in that Seoul is actively implementing startup policies, such as creating startup bases (clusters) throughout Seoul.

  • The total valuation
    of the Seoul ecosystem
    223trillion won
  • The investment subsidiary
    amount for the early phase
    of Seouls’ Startups
    2.9trillion won
  • Global startup ecosystem
    ranking
    10Rank

※ 2021 Startup Genome Announcement Criteri

Total valuation by year
(Unit: trillion 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

Participating in the virtuous circle
of Seoul‘s startup ecosystem

The city of Seoul created the Future Innovation Growth Fund in 2018 to intensively invest in promising venture startups and SMEs in key industries,
thereby crepting jobs and bringing about economic growth.

The Future Innovation Growth Fund is a fund that intensively invests in six fields including the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart city,
cultural content, startup support, re-challenge support, and Seoul bio. The city of Seoul has invested 127.9 billion won in this fund and has raised
a fund of 2.9395 trillion won by completing 1053 investments as of December 2021.

The initial goal was 1.431 trillion won over five years through 2022. However the city's active investment in financial resources combined
with private investments has allowed the city to achieve 209% of the goal just in three years.

  • Total subvention amount 2.9trillion won
  • Total investment amount 1.6trillion won
  • Total number of
    investment companies
    1053trillion won

※ As of the fourth quarter of 2021

Average investment amount by year
(Unit: 100 million won)
Investment status by field
(Unit: 100 million won)
Classification of the types of industry for investment companies
(The year 2021)
Classification of the round for investment companies
(The year 2021)

Together we scale up startups in Seoul

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 startups
    supported by Seoul
    13,402
  • Sales figures for the startups
    supported by Seoul
    5,131,210million wond
  • Number of people
    employed by the startups
    supported by Seoul
    19,026

※ December 2012~2021

Number of incubator companies
(Unit: companies)
Sales figures
(Unit: million won)
Attracted investment amount
(Unit: million won)
Intellectual property rights
(Unit: counts)

Running together with the members
of the startup ecosystem

The city of Seoul has been putting in a lot of effort to enhance the activities of the startup ecosystem in order to create 'synergy' through collaboration
with private expert organizations in the public domain.
To strengthen the capabilities of the startup teams based in Seoul, the city is conducting a startup fostering program together
with large companies, institutional investors, and private expert organizations including Seoul Business Agency (SBA).

Together with the private sector, the city operates 41 startup support facilities and supports over 720 startup support programs to
promote the scale-up of startups. Both the public and private sectors will work together to transform Seoul into a city that is great
for running and starting up businesses and a city where people can find good jobs.

  • 2017~2021.12 Number of startup programs 750
  • As of March 2022 Number of city startup
    support facilities
    40
  • As of December 2021 Number of
    partner organizations
    183
Number of startup programs by year
(Unit: counts)
Number of city startup support facilities
City Startup Support Facility Operation Status
(As of the end of December 2021)
City Startup Support Facility Operation Status
Facility name Number of fostered companies Corporate sales
(million won)
Number of companies to attract investment Investment attraction
(million won)
Number of intellectual property cases
(cases)
No. of employees (persons)
New hires
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
Space Salim 124 9,660 - - 20 49
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