If you’re in Korea and you want to meet a handful of startups, I suggest you visit D.CAMP, sitting in the heart of Gangnam in Seoul. This six-floored, 45,000 square foot building is fully packed with passionate local startups and entrepreneurs. First, you can go up to the 4th floor where you can encounter lots of entrepreneurs passionately working on their ideas in co-working space. Then you can grab an entrepreneur and both of you go down to the 2nd floor, where you can mingle in a small cafe and enjoy snacks like Kimbap or a cup of coffee. There sit the startups who rent office space – you might even get a chance to talk to Formation8, the Silicon Valley-headquartered VC firm. When the sky begins to darken, go up to the 5th floor. You might want to check you have  enough business cards to hand out to the entrepreneurs participating in the Meetup.

Company manager Seokwon Yang also introduced the success story of Korean bitcoin exchange company Korbit, and how they had grown up in D.CAMP. “Korbit’s two co-founders first came to D.CAMP’s co-working space on 4F and started to build their business. Then they were chosen for D.CAMP’s accelerator program and moved to 5F’s private office. After they raised US$400,000 from Silicon Valley’s angel investors and the Bitcoin Opportunity fund and US$3M from SoftBank Ventures Koreathey independently rented office on 2F, then finally increased the size of the company and moved to the expensive Sinsa area.”

D.CAMP, also known as Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, is a non-profit organization funded by twenty banks in Korea. Established in 2012, it is often referred to as one of the largest foundations in Korea to support startup activities. Last year, D.CAMP successfully held Startup Nations Summit (2014 SNS) with startups from 45 countries participating in the World Startup Competition. “D.CAMP expanded its overseas network by hosting this event. Last year, we formed partnerships with Denmark, Swiss and Finland organizations to cooperate with their startup communities,” Yang said.

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Eva Yoo

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