Korean Government Agencies That Support Startups

Korean Startup Ecosystem

The startup ecosystem in Korea has been surging since 2015.  Furthermore, the Korean government launched a drive to support startups and also promote entrepreneurship among the youth.

Entrepreneurship drive has been one sure strategy at the core agenda of past and successive presidents to alleviate the rate of unemployment among the youth.

Many Korean government agencies have outlined plans to support new and creative ideas, especially from foreigners and other sectors of the economy.

In the meantime, achieving these ambitious technological goals will also help propel the government’s steep dive into the fourth industrial revolution.

Therefore, here are notable Korean government organizations and agencies that support startups. The kind of support varies according to each organization’s setup and goals.

However, most of them support early-stage ventures and startups. Whether you are looking for funds, office space, VC partners, mentoring, acceleration or global expansion, these companies and organizations listed here can help you in one way or the other.

It’s time to access them for the benefit and growth of your startup.

Korean Government Agencies that Support Startups and Small Business

Ministry of Science and ICT

Ministry of Science and ICTThis is the official government agency that is constituted to oversee and implement the government’s grand science and ICT policies.  They are in charge of evaluating science and technology policies.  Furthermore, they support innovative research and development and skills development in ICT.  Presently, it is now championing the 4th industrial revolution.

Pangyo Techno Valley

Pangyo Techno ValleyPangyo Techno Valley is the Korean version of Silicon Valley in the USA. Located in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province of Korea, the vast industrial and startup campus is home to some of Korea’s top tech companies such as NCSoft Corp., Kakao, SK Planet, Nexon and other global companies. Currently, it also hosts global startups that are accepted into the annual K-Startup Grand Challenge program. First opened in 2011, the campus has accommodated over 1,200 companies. Aside from the startup campus, you can find a global R&D center as well as the center for the creative economy and innovation.

Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA)

Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA)Creative content is at the forefront of Korea’s digital innovation. The Korea Creative Content Agency ensures the promotion of Korean content industry. They provide education for content creators and serve as an incubator for content start-ups. Some of the fields they support include games, Comics, AR/VR, Animation, Character Licensing, Broadcasting, and music.

Center for Creative Economy and Innovation (CCEI)

Center for Creative Economy and Innovation (CCEI)The CCEI is one of the leading government agencies that help local startups and business to expand globally. Opened in 2014, it operates 18 local offices in 17 regions across Korea. The CCEI provides special assistance to small and medium enterprises from the regions.

K-Startup

K-StartupK-Startup is a government-run online hub that announces various startup programs aimed for the youth.  Warning: the site is in Korean.

National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA)

National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA)NIPA is Korea government’s IT promotion organization. NIPA is affiliated with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. They promote Korea’s ICT industry and attract global business partnerships. Therefore, they also implement relevant policies through a robust R&D strategy.

Small & Medium Business Corporation (SBC)

Small & Medium Business Corporation (SBC)The SBC exists to support startups and small business from business plans design, incubation, early stage, growth, market entry, and sustainable growth. They also offer loans with little interests to enterprises that plan to scale.

Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA)

Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA)The SMBA is one of the agencies under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups that foster innovation of Small Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro Enterprises (MEs). Furthermore, their business mission is underpinned in three areas: business growth promotion, fostering business startups and support for micro-enterprises.

Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development (KISED)

Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development (KISED)KISED is also one of the affiliated organizations under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, tasked with creating a convenient environment for startups to thrive and create jobs for the creative economy. Moreover, they provide entrepreneurship education, develop startup infrastructure, mentoring support and many others.

Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC)

Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC)If you are looking for venture funding for your startup, the Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC) should be top on your list. They provide a capital source for the venture capital market. Some of the funds they provide are related to job creation, angel funds, foreign VC investment funds, and industrial technology commercialization.

K-Growth

K-GrowthThe Korea Growth Investment Corporation is an independent funds-of-fund management agency that provides risk capital to Korean startups and SMEs at various stages of their business cycle.

K-ICT Startup Mentoring Center

K-ICT Startup Mentoring CenterThis mentoring center under the Korea Youth Entrepreneurship Foundation is a place where startups mentees are paired with experienced startup and business owners to help early-stage businesses.

Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)

Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)If you need a consultation about establishing a global business or trade-investment venture in Korea, KOTRA is the right place for you. Therefore, do not entangle yourself with any stress. They offer comprehensive direction for companies that intend to invest in Korea.  In addition to those that are looking to expand their markets internationally.  They also operate BuyKorea (a B2B E-marketplace for Korean products).

Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA)

Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA)Do you have any inventive idea? Are you seeking patent attorneys to file a patent for your idea? Then, KIPA is your one-stop service center for such tasks. KIPA help startups through idea acquisition, intellectual property registration, patent application and all other stages required for your invention to commercialization. Moreover, they host the Seoul International Invention Fair annually.

Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KIBO)

Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KIBO)KIBO is a non-profit institution also affiliated with the Ministry of SMEs and startups.  They are in charge of facilitating technology finance for innovative companies and SMEs in Korea. They provide credit guarantee, technology appraisal, equity investment and technology transfer for many startups and firms.


Do you know of any other agencies that are not mentioned in this article? Please send me an email and we are sure to update it. Meanwhile, try these agencies.