Seoul is now in the top 20 of global startup ecosystems. The city is already home to 8,708 startups, 85 accelerators, and 10 unicorns. While most markets around the world have taken a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seoul’s burgeoning biotech scene has helped position the city as a global leader. The city has a goal of reaching 20 startup unicorns by 2022.
Seoul’s strength as a hub for startups is that it has been ahead of the curve on tech adoption. Tim Chae of 500 Startups, a global venture fund and seed accelerator, says “Seoul’s been a tech frontier — a future of what’s to come to the US — since the ’90s. Whether it was high-speed internet, cell phones, games, e-sports, or microtransactions. I think that foundation is being realised to its potential today with the record amount of talented new entrepreneurs starting out.”
The government is making further efforts to bolster tech innovation and attract foreign entrepreneurs, such as lowering patent fees for startups and banks that provide funding, as well as introducing an easier visa program for foreign nationals.
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