[THE INVESTOR] A new start-up center funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government will help expats grow their businesses by assisting them in developing globally.
The Seoul Global Startup Center in Yongsan-gu is the first government-subsidized scheme to provide seed funding mainly for foreigners through an incubation program in Korea.
Seoul GSC’s five-month incubation program will provide 10 million won ($8,656) in seed funding to successful applicants.
Each team will also receive a 24-hour office space, visa assistance, business and legal services, mentoring, consulting, workshops, and the opportunity to travel to an overseas market in Vietnam or China.
Seoul GSC global leader Jay Kim said the organization has an established network in these countries, which will make it easy to help start-ups enter those markets. He added that they are open to exploring other opportunities in other overseas market as well.
“Seoul GSC promotes and supports not only start-ups, but any businesses that are run by foreigners in Korea or teams that partner with foreigners in Korea or abroad,” marketing manager Cathy Hwang said.
The seed funding has no attached conditions and additional funding will be provided to the top teams every five months.
“The project will provide a great community and network for foreigners, not in just business-oriented ways but in all-around aspects of their living in Korea,” Hwang said.
Each team will also receive peer mentoring and advice from consultants to develop their ideas.
Seoul GSC will invite investors to a demonstration day where teams will present ideas to attract potential funding.
“We are looking for good people and ideas from all sectors, not just tech start-ups,” Hwang said.
“We want to have a wide variety of start-ups with good people to build a great community.”
Seoul GSC is a partnership between the Seoul Metropolitan Government and a private company, Rehoboth, which funds small enterprises and 37 business centers in Korea and Shanghai.
The program is accepting applications until July 29, and the center’s coworking space will open mid-August to the public.
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By Tang Li (firstname.lastname@example.org)