South Korean startups have been given the green light, and the nation has become one of the key startup hubs in Asia. After the dot.com bubble burst, few people dared to start their own business. However, some internet portals and online game companies survived the downturn to become so-called “Unicorns“, companies valued at over US$1 billion, leading the stream of success stories. Then a new generation of startups emerged around 2010, and now the country has over 1,000 startups according to a map of the field by Rocket Punch.

Immense support from the Korean government also boosted the startup scene. The “Creative Economy”, the Park administration’s key strategy, aims to build an economy that is mainly powered by startups rather than established players like Samsung, LG and Hyundai. The government allocated a US$12.6 billion fund for 2015 to support Korean startups, a 5.8 % increase over this year.

For those who want to find out more, Startup Alliance is the place for you. It works as a hub where you can learn about the startup ecosystem and connect with the fledgling companies. It is a joint effort between the private sector and the government’s Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning. Leading IT companies such as Naver, Daum, Kakao, and SK Planet involved its formation, as well as investment companies, startup incubators, and startup accelerators.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com