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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 Value
    in Seoul

    223 trillion won
    ($177 bn)
  • Early-stage Funding
    in Seoul

    2.9 trillion won
    ($2.3 bn)
  • Ranking of Global Startup


※ 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 subvention

    3.8 trillion won
  • Total amount of investment

    2.3 trillion won
  • Total number of companies
    receiving investment

    1,363 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
Classification of the investment round

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 startups
    supported by Seoul City

  • Sales of the startups
    supported by Seoul City

    5.3 trillion won
  • Number of employees of
    startups supported
    by Seoul City


(2012~December 2022)

Number of incubating companies
(Unit: companies)
Sales figures
(Unit: million won)
Amount of investment attraction
(Unit: million won)
Number of registered intellectual property rights
(Unit: cases)
Number of people employed
(Unit: people)

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 program
    (2017 ~ Dec. 2022)

  • Start-up support facilities
    (as of Feb. 2023)

  • Start-up support partner
    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)
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
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