President Yoon "We must boldly change the startup ecosystem to be more private and market-oriented"
President Yoon "We must boldly change the startup ecosystem to be more private and market-oriented"
  • Lee Kyung-siK, 조경희 기자, 정다정
  • 승인 2023.09.01 12:00
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The meeting was organised to discuss the government's vision for Startup Korea to become a global startup


Written Briefing by Spokesperson Lee Do-woon on President Yoon Seok-yeol's Hosting of the Startup Korea Strategy Meeting

President Yoon Seok-yul chaired the Startup Korea Strategy Meeting at the Cheong Wa Dae State Guesthouse today (30 August) morning.

The meeting was organised to discuss the government's vision for Startup Korea to become a global startup powerhouse, and to discuss strategies for venture and startup growth in a joint public-private partnership.


"The world is facing complex crises and challenges," the President said at the start of the meeting, urging participants to recognise that "ventures and startups armed with ideas and technology are the main agents of innovation." "The government is pursuing the dual strategy of Startup Korea along with a strong export drive to take our economy to new heights," he said, calling for a "bold shift from a government-led startup ecosystem to a private-market-oriented one." "The government will be a strong support to bring innovation-driven youth from around the world to Korea, and for our startups to join forces and challenge themselves in solidarity with innovators from around the world," the president said, referring to the investment in private parent funds, tax support, and the formation of the KRW2 trillion 'Startup Korea Fund.

Today's meeting began with presentations by Kim Dong-shin, CEO of Sendbird (chat API software for enterprises), and Agarwal Pankaj, CEO of Taghive (edtech), on how they went global, followed by an announcement of the 'Startup Korea Promotion Strategy' by Minister of SMEs and Startups Lee Young, and in-depth discussions on venture and startup growth strategies.

In the discussion on 'Bold Global Challenges and Creating Global Startup Hubs', Kim Jin-young, CEO of The Invention Lab (an accelerator), introduced the case of a startup's expansion into Vietnam, and mentioned that it would be a good example for Korean startups to expand overseas, as well as for overseas talents to co-found in Korea and then move back to their home countries.
Next, Nazarov Suleiman, CEO of Cloud Hospitality (a healthcare service platform), introduced the effectiveness of government support policies and mentioned the difficulties of obtaining visas for foreign workers. In this regard, Lee Jae-yoo, Head of the Immigration and Foreigner Policy Division of the Ministry of Justice, said that the government will actively consider improving the visa system, including technology start-up visas, start-up preparation visas, and international student internship visas, with a focus on foreigners' domestic employment.
Next, Lee Yeon, CEO of Shareground (B2B fashion trading solution), who participated in the discussion from the audience, expressed his expectations for government policies to help young entrepreneurs go global.

In the discussion on 'Enabling open innovation centred on startups', Park Sung-ryul, CEO of Umtl (bio-experimental filter manufacturing), introduced the successful experience of open innovation with biopharmaceutical manufacturing giant Celltrion in a startup park in Chungcheongbuk-do as a policy best practice, and said that active interest from large companies and the government is also needed for sales after demonstration.
A representative of Imiso Agricultural Company (potato bread production using potatoes from Gangwon Province) introduced the case of receiving support from the Gangwon Creative Economy Innovation Centre and called for policies to support local companies to create new value in the region.
Kim Kyung-hoon, President of Google Korea, presented Google's support programme for startups and SMEs, stating that the company will play a role in helping domestic developers grow and expand overseas, and create a startup ecosystem.

In this regard, Park Yoon-gyu, Vice Minister of Science and ICT, introduced the government's ecosystem programme in the field of AI, which supports the demonstration and cooperation of startups, and said that ventures, startups, and research institutes are working together in deep tech fields such as metaverse and cloud to construct an open ecosystem.
In addition, Minister of SMEs and Startups Lee Young said that collaboration between government departments should also be viewed from the perspective of open innovation, emphasising that large enterprises and startups utilise each other's strengths. He also announced that the government will fully support local startups through the creation of regional innovation funds and Space K (startup hubs).

Park Loo-jin, Chairman of the Policy Committee of the People's Power, mentioned the importance of building an environment where people can challenge startups even if they fail, and Kim Ki-hyun, Chairman of the People's Power Party, said that he would keep a close eye on legislation related to technology theft, which may occur if large companies and open innovation are promoted. He also said that his party would spare no effort to support the realisation of the Startup Korea strategy, including prompt legislation and appropriate budget allocation.

At the end of the meeting, the president encouraged startup companies to make efforts to enter the global market, saying, "The country has always promoted globalisation in commerce in the past, and now, thanks to digitalisation, anyone with an idea can enter the global market."

"The conceptual elements of the word 'startup' are global, digitalisation, globalisation, and global market," the President said, calling on the attendees to "not only not access the global market, but also not innovate if our startups are complacent and only look at the domestic market."

"What the government needs to do now is to unify our market and the world market into a single market," he said, "and to do that, we need to remove unnecessary regulations and change Korea to meet international criteria and standards."

The President also said that it is important for companies to enter the global market, not only for exports but also for foreign capital to come into Korea. "Our interests are justified when we can contribute together to increasing the welfare of humanity around the world, and our interests are derived from that," he said, adding that "our government is committed to globalisation, global market access and internationalism."

On the issue of technology theft, which came up during today's meeting, the President said that "technology theft is a felony," and that "it must be dealt with decisively, and that the state will protect those who are wronged so that they can get redress quickly and not be retaliated against."

The President concluded by saying that "startups are like children in terms of growth," and that "the state will pay more attention to them and support them so that you can enjoy greater opportunities and showcase your skills."

A total of 110 people attended today's meeting, including officials from the private sector, including overseas startups, foreign founders, domestic and foreign venture capitalists and accelerators, and related associations and experts, as well as Minister of SMEs and Startups Lee Young and Kim Ki-hyun of the People's Power Party.




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