Shinhan Financial Group hosted an MOU ceremony back in 2020 with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the Incheon Metropolitan City, and Celltrion. Their aim was to build an ecosystem for innovative startups through Incheon Startup Park. Since then, Shinhan created a top-tier, one-stop platform in Korea with an investment fund of $50 million. The project aims to explore and foster global and biotech startups through private-public partnerships. In addition, Shinhan pledged it will invest an additional $71 million over the next 5 years to help innovative startups and SMEs.

Incheon Startup Park at Tomorrow City in Songdo

Incheon ParkIncheon Startup Park is a private-public ecosystem cooperative project. The aim is to create a physical and virtual space to foster startups and run an acceleration program for promising businesses. Incheon Startup Park fosters and supports innovative companies based on the Fourth Industrial Revolution technology. In addition, the project is the first model in Korea to foster startups by combining private experiences, capabilities, and public support to create open innovation startup bases modeled after Silicon Valley in the United States.

Shinhan Financial Group is the main operating party of this initiative. However, they get support from the Korean government, namely the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Incheon Metropolitan City, as well as in partnership with private companies like Biotech leader, Celltrion. The city of Incheon will also create a fund worth over $200 million to grow innovative startups and make the park a source for entrepreneurs in Korea looking to make their dreams come true through two main projects.

Project 1 – Instar 1 Support Programs by Start-Up Innovation POOM

  •  Demonstration and commercialization support projects
  • Scale-up Challenge Lab
  • (Demonstration and technical support in connection with universities)· Investment and Global Expansion
  • Booster Startup Program (support for global advancement)
  • Spark IR Day· Ecosystem Activation
  • Networking with relevant institutions, seminars, and citizen-participation programs
  • Growth plus program (Expert mentoring)

1st Floor – AIoT Demonstration Open Lab

Incheon Startup Park

The first floor houses the AIoT Demonstration Open Lab, Big Data/AI Center, 5G Demonstration Center, and Operations Office. Therefore, the AIoT Demonstration Open Lab allows resident companies to connect to the web in order to freely access big data for development, research, and to verify results.

3rd Floor – Bio-Specialized Zone

Startup Park

The 3rd floor, a bio-specialized zone, has bio-related offices and meeting rooms. As well as a corporate support space that is equipped with OA equipment. Some examples of OA equipment include multi-function printers and coating machines. In addition, there are spaces here where the employees can take a break and get refreshed at the office pantry. There is also a wide range of meeting rooms and offices.

4th Floor – Exhibit Halls

Incheon Startup Park

The 4th floor has an exhibit and public relations halls for companies to present their technologies and products through photographs or videos. It is often used as an education space for large-scale conferences, lectures, and workshops. Moreover, there are also meeting rooms that can be used for various training and collaboration opportunities.

5th Floor – Library/Lounge

Global Conference Room

The 5th floor includes a large lounge and a staircase library that can be used for diverse large-scale events. It is a perfect spot for pitch events and meetups. There are many private business rooms for one-on-one work and video-conference rooms for global meetings.

6th Floor – Multipurpose Hall

Incheon Startup Park

The 6th floor is a must-visit as it has the Multipurpose Hall. On this floor, startups can lay the groundwork for realizing their ideas. It is under a beautiful dome roof. Companies can use the space to exchange information via events or conferences.

Project 2 – Instar 2 Support Programs by Sinhan S2 Bridge Incheon

  • Incubation Membership (1 year)
  • Incubation program· Accelerating Membership (16 weeks)
  • Startup High Growth AC Program· Global Membership (1 year)
  • Global accelerating & landing programs
  • In connection with global resources

B1 Floor – Open Workspace

The basement level at Instar 2 is used as an office area and collaborative space for startups. There are workstations, private lounges, sleeping rooms, studios, and even a kitchen.

1st Floor – Open Stations

The first floor consists of offices for startup companies to hold interactions, such as open stations, Bridges (training rooms), and partnership offices. The rest areas are arranged by reforming the spaces connected to windows or offices in order to improve work efficiency.

2nd Floor – Group Coaching Room

The Office and Group Coaching Room can be used as spaces to run various educational programs and brainstorming sessions. For a complete break from a busy day, you can find women-only sleeping rooms, a lounge, and a rooftop garden.

MOU Ceremony Held Online back in 2020

Incheon Startup Park

The MOU signing and ceremony were held in 2020 for the first time in the form of an online conference in order to put the emphasis on necessary social distancing. Some of the speakers included SMEs and Startups Minister Young-Sun Park, Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Yong-Byoung Cho, Incheon Mayor Nam-Choon Park, and Celltrion Chairman Jungjin Seo. In addition, they discussed the direction of Incheon Startup Park operations and strategies for fostering and supporting startups.

Furthermore, a number of dignitaries represented the Korean startup ecosystem. These dignitaries included TBT CEO Jungwook Lim, COHIVE CEO Ethan Choi, and SendBird CEO John S. Kim. They participated in the event and shared their opinions and visions on how startups can overcome the crisis faced in the post-COVID-19 era.

The Triple-K Project by Shinhan Financial Group

The Triple-K Project consists of three main themes.

  1. Korea to Cross-Country – The focus will be to create a nationwide innovation growth platform.
  2. Korea to Global – To help startups in Korea to successfully expand into the global market.
  3. K-Unicorn Project – To support the virtualization of the Korean economy and realize the corporate social value (CSV) by fostering potential unicorn companies.

The Incheon Startup Park aims to build a universal platform for fostering tech and bio startups in Korea. In addition, they will look to take advantage of the geopolitical position of the city of Incheon.

The Park will enhance its functions as a global hub. In addition, it will support startups by expanding their activities to overseas markets and fostering startups in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution technologies such as AI, 5G, IoT, big data, and Bio-health.

Incheon Startup Park – A Global Bio-Specialized Hub

Samsung Bio

Incheon Startup Park will select more than 80 high-tech startups and provide them various opportunities, such as a global partner network connection. The park will cooperate with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development, and global accelerators in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Furthermore, Shinhan Financial Group will provide a wide range of benefits. These benefits include free office space and incubation to scale-up programs for companies based in Incheon Startup Park. In addition, Shinhan Financial Group is raising $40 million in investment funds to discover companies with unicorn potential and nurture promising ventures. The Incheon Startup Park will get $10 million from Shinhan Financial Group for operating expenses over the next 4 years.

For startups that can’ physically move into the park, Shinhan Financial Group will introduce a membership system. Therefore, the system will allow startups access to information and updates on Shinhan Financial Group’s startup support programs and contents.

The Incheon Startup Park Membership Program

  • The membership program will offer:
  • variety of information on scale-up programs
  • opportunities to participate in global events and demo days
  • access to startup data archive for stakeholders including accelerators and investors

“IT companies and platform operators that produce and provide innovative services are the key players to Korea’s future competitiveness. Shinhan Financial Group will provide undivided support, at the group level, to make the Incheon Startup Park a Landmark of Innovation where every startup company, unicorn or not, will want to be part of,” said the Chairman of Shinhan Financial Group, Young-Byoung Cho.

Incheon Startup Park Webinars

Incheon Startup Park is a great place to hold webinars. Recently Seedstars partnered with Shinhan Financial Group to organize a series of online webinars. It was part of their Post-Pandemic Initiative Global Conference. The Post-Pandemic Initiative Global Conference is a part of the Korea TechWeek Series. Korea TechWeek Series featured a range of tech-related speakers. Therefore, they were able to offer insights on strategies used to succeed in the South Korean market. Furthermore, they focused on the growing importance of the biotech industry and the need for global cooperation.