South Korea Market

South Korea is an innovation powerhouse, boasting a robust ICT infrastructure with high-speed internet, the highest broadband penetration rate globally (97%), and high technology uptake. The country has ranked #1 globally in Bloomberg’s Innovation Index for 6 years and is highly renowned for its R&D and innovative industries like smart manufacturing, virtual reality, and renewable energies.

Facts & Figures
About South Korea

4th

Largest economy

in Asia

11

Unicorns and 30,000+

startups in South Korea

#1

On Bloomberg’s Global

Innovation Index for 6 years

Rocket Icon

Annual R&D expenditure accounts

for 4.8% of GDP, the highest globally

Source: WSJ (2021), Bloomberg (2020), Jumpstart (2020)

Opportunities
for German Startups

As the world’s most digitally connected country, South Korea’s IoT sector holds the strongest potential for German startups looking to gain a foothold in the market.
South Korea is an early adopter of the Smart City concept, integrating several aspects into its infrastructure to maximize efficiency and sustainability. It actively encourages foreign innovation in this space.
Smart Manufacturing is an important growth sector as South Korea plans to build 30,000 smart factories by 2022.
South Korea has the highest robot density per capita worldwide, and a booming robotics industry forms the core of the country’s Fourth Industrial Revolution vision.

Industry Focus Areas

Illustration Mapping
Mobility
Illustration Gaming
Mobile & Gaming
Illustration City
Smart City
Illustration Industry
Industry 4.0

Main Startup Hubs
in South Korea

Map South Korea

Seoul

Seoul is home to 60% of the country’s startups who benefit from cutting-edge infrastructure, numerous accelerators and fresh talent from more than 50 universities based in the city.

Busan

South Korea’s second largest city, Busan is also home to a thriving startup scene, with sub sector strengths in Marine Tech and Smart City.

Pangyo Techno Valley

Pangyo Techno Valley, South Korea’s version of Silicon Valley, is home to some of the country’s top tech firms, including NCSoft Corp., Kakao, SK Planet, and Nexon.

What Others Say

The potential in South Korea and Asia is much greater for us than in German-speaking countries. There are more customers for us there, and the investors are more open to our business model.

 

Phong Dao, Co-founder of iVE.ONE

South Korea is one of the most vibrant startup ecosystems in the world. Driven by the huge support from the South Korean government, its continued dedication to fostering the startup ecosystem will allow foreign startups to realize the potential this market has. Startups who can identify and leverage the opportunities provided by these initiatives will thrive in this exciting ecosystem.

 

Marta Allina, Founder of Seoul Startups & #GAMentor

Programs We Offer in South Korea

Market Discovery Program

The South Korea Market Discovery program will help you get first-hand market insights, explore individual business opportunities within the local ecosystem, and connect with potential customers and partners.

Local Partners

Logo Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Seoul
Logo Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Invest Seoul Center
Logo Shinhan Financial Group

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