Google formally opened its first Asian start-up “campus” in Seoul on Friday a marquee-name nod to South Korea’s aspirations as a regional hub for a new generation of tech entrepreneurs.
Opened by President Park Geun-Hye who has touted establishing a “creative economy” as a key policy for her administration, Campus Seoul is housed in the capital’s upscale Gangnam district which has become a focal point for the Korean start-up community.
As well as providing a space for people to work and network, it offers mentoring and training by Google teams and experienced entrepreneurs, as well as access to other start-up communities in Asia and beyond.
“We feel we’re at a tipping point where Korean start-ups will begin going global,” said Jeffrey Lim, who heads the Seoul Campus operations.
It’s a point that has been touted as tipping for some time, nudged by a highly educated, hard-working community in a country with some of the world’s fastest broadband speeds and highest smartphone penetration rates.
But despite the domestic success of some start-ups, Korean firms have struggled to take their products to the global market.