Korea to Partner with IT Giants to Run Startup Accelerator Program

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups to launch a state-run startup accelerator program to help budding local firms.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) said on Tuesday that the Korean government plans to launch a state-run startup accelerator program with prominent global IT companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia, among others.

The government seeks to offer budding local firms with available opportunities to contend better with giants in the technology industry.

A ministry official said that they are currently discussing with Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia to establish a startup accelerator program creating disruptive innovation and boosting the economy with strengthened support.

The ministry oversees the growth of small Korean enterprises, saying that it is considering to seek collaborations with U.S.-based IT giants to create a support program that can fund home-grown firms and help them create an avenue to enter the global market.

In its operational plan for this year, the ministry said that it would tap Microsoft for helping startups involved in the manufacturing and smart factory sector, Amazon for companies in the commerce and logistics sector, Nvidia for firms in line with artificial intelligence and graphic processing.

The official added that the ministry is trying to expand the coverage of the program with other global tech companies. In partnership with Google and the Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development, the startup ministry launched a support program in 2019, producing successful ventures overseas.

In March last year, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups launched the “ChangGoo Program,” providing technical and financial support for local startups focused on the development of mobile games and apps.

A total of 60 firms received 700 million won ($600,000) of funds from Google through the support program for research and development activities. The multinational tech firm provided consulting services to startups.

For 2020, the ChangGoo Program’s budget increased from 30 billion won ($25.5 million) in 2019 to 40 billion won ($33.9 million).

Technology startups will receive a budget allocation of 1.5 trillion won  ($1.27 billion)  from the startup ministry to help them in their development. Of the budget cost, 200 billion won ($169.5 million) will be used for firms in non-memory semiconductors, biotechnology, and AI sectors, areas which the government has tried to foster.

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February 14,2020

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