Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community. This week, our very own Eva Yoo talks about the startup ecosystem in South Korea. TechNode does not endorse any of the commentary made in this podcast.

Eva Chaewon Yoo from Technode joined us in a conversation to discuss the South Korea technology startup ecosystem. She offered a comprehensive overview in how one can navigate the startup ecosystem from Seoul to Busan, the five booming startup verticals, the key investors from angel investors to venture capital and the interaction with the Chaebol such as Samsung or major conglomerates in Korea.

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Show notes:

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Eva Yoo Chaewon, Writer at Technode (@evayooareLinkedInTechnode) [0:38]
    • How did she start your career? [1:26]
    • How did she move from South Korea to China with Technode? [2:46]
    • From her experiences, what are the interesting career lessons she can share? [3:40]
  • South Korea technology startup ecosystem [4:44]
    • How does the South Korea startup ecosystem structured? Eva provided a historical perspective from the dot com era to today with startup unicorns. [5:02]
    • How does someone from overseas think about the Korea startup ecosystem? [7:37]
    • Where are the startups in South Korea aggregated? Is it still in Gangnam and are all the activity centralised in Seoul or there are activity elsewhere like Busan? 97% of the VCs are based in Seoul, and the remaining are in Busan. [10:05]
    • Which are the 5 booming sectors in South Korea tech ecosystem? Can you talk aboutthe interesting startup activity in this range? [12:23]
      • O2O (online to offline) [12:41]
      • Fintech [13:54]
      • Multi-channel network (MCN) [14:40]
      • Healthcare [16:21]
      • Fashion and Beauty powered by K-Pop and Korea Dramas: MemeBox (former YCombinator), B2LINK [17:09]
    • What are the social media tools used by South Korea consumers? (Kakao, Naver, Facebook) – Note that most Korean users  [17:40]
    • What are the most interesting startup unicorns in South Korea? [19:37]
    • Can you talk about the startup activity specifically in the IoT and maker areas? [21:41]
    • Who are the interesting angel investors or venture capital firms in South Korea? [23:02]
      • SoftBank Ventures Korea
      • Future Play – Hardware startups
      • Primer
      • SparkLabs Ventures
    • How does the startups interact with the conglomerates otherwise known as the Chaebol, for example, Samsung, LG, SK Planet, Hyundai? [26:05]
    • In the year 2016, what are the most interesting news for the South Korea technology ecosystem?  [28:48]
      • LINE IPO
      • VR: Binary Labs

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