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Seoul's Bold Plan to Join the Top Five Global Startup Hubs by 2030

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government

Why it matters: Seoul, South Korea, has launched a new "Seoul Entrepreneurship Policy 2030". The city has set an ambitious goal to become the world's fifth-largest startup hub by 2030.

This initiative includes nurturing 50 global unicorn startups and building a state-of-the-art facility, the "Seoul Unicorn Startup Hub," to house 1,000 startups.

The Key Points:

  • The government has pledged KRW 1.671 trillion in investment for the initiative.
  • Seoul will expand its startup support space to 370,000 square meters by 2030, making room for 3,277 companies.
  • A special fund of KRW 100 billion will be allocated to the Seoul Unicorn Startup Hub.
  • The plan includes the creation of a 200,000㎡ "AI Seoul Tech City" by 2028 and a robot cluster in the Suseo area.

The Big Picture: The city's initiative builds on a decade of support for tech startups that began in 2009.

During that time, Seoul's support resulted in the creation of 23,000 jobs and attracted KRW 1.5 trillion in investment.

As a result, the value of Seoul's startup ecosystem will increase from KRW 53 trillion in 2021 to KRW 274 trillion in 2023.

However, the city needs to catch up to startup powerhouses such as the U.S. and Germany regarding the growth rate of unicorn companies.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government aims to close this gap through strategic investments and comprehensive support to foster entrepreneurial growth.

According to Mayor Oh Se-hoon, the city's vision for the next decade is to stimulate private sector growth and serve as an intermediary for the public with a robust startup policy.

This policy and efforts to build a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem represent a bold move by the city to solidify its position in the global startup landscape.