SPOTLIGHT

Startup Venture Polis ‘POOM’
to Open in Songdo in 2020

With news of the Startup Venture Polis, POOM, interest around startups is heightening.
Used to define a new venture company, the term ‘startup’ was coined in Silicon Valley, often called “the Mecca of startups.”
Demonstrating extraordinary technological capabilities and creative ideas,
startups are emerging as game-changers in the global economy.
Which cities will stand out as hotbeds for global startups?

Systematic Preparations Underway for Project’s Success

 

POOM (Platform, Open Data, Open Living Lab, Make Value), aimed at developing Songdo International City, Incheon, into a hotbed for startups, is set to open during the second half of 2020. Under the proposed plan, the IFEZ will begin accepting applications in April 2020 from startups hoping for a space in the complex, while a variety of programs will be run in support of startups and to invigorate the economic ecosystem, beginning in the first half of 2020. The IFEZ is planning to complete renovations on the Tomorrow City, where POOM will be housed, by the second half of 2020.

In August, the IFEZ completed a survey of companies based in special business complexes throughout the country and those benefiting from the government’s business support programs in order to understand basic information about startups and the needs of childcare facilities and programs, in particular. A strategic meeting was also held in order to discuss the creation of the complex, where the Director General for Startup Promotion Policy in the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), the Director of the Employment & Economic Affairs Division from Incheon Metropolitan City, startup support agencies and experts, along with some 20 invited partner organizations, gathered to discuss possible means of cooperation. The project plan has almost been completed, and discussions with the MSS were also concluded in early September.

Support for Innovative Expansion of the
Economic Ecosystem in Incheon

 

The Tomorrow City, where the Startup Venture Polis, POOM, will be built, will consist of Start Up Tower I, Start Up Tower II, and the Healing Tower. Start Up Tower I will serve as a place for startups and venture companies to work together and explore ideas in an open environment. In Start Up Tower II, companies and agencies will provide programs for developing innovative ideas. Meanwhile, the Healing Tower will offer convenient facilities and spaces for relaxation and collaboration. These facilities will offer business spaces tailored to each company’s growth stage, and accelerators will help identify prospective startups and provide full-fledged support that ranges from mentoring and product consulting to connecting with customers and promotional activities.

 

The IFEZ will run POOM based on a private collaborative model rather than in a public-oriented development style. To this end, it will take full advantage of public-private partnership programs in working with accelerators and investors from the private sector and exemplary startups, creating a self-motivated startup support system that converges public resources and private capabilities. With this startup support program, the IFEZ hopes to cultivate 300 data-based innovative companies, help 2,000 talented individuals realize their capabilities in global markets, assist 160 companies in expanding their operations into overseas markets, identify 30 public-private collaborative programs, and create 1,500 new jobs. IFEZ Commissioner Lee Won Jae said, “As innovative startups and talents are creating major capabilities for cities, we intend to use POOM to support the innovative expansion of Incheon’s economic ecosystem while looking for ways to work together with startup support agencies and innovative companies both overseas and in Korea.”

Startup Venture Polis, POOM

Recreate an industrial ecosystem through
substantiation using platform-based open data

Goals of the IFEZ Startup Support Program

Startups Are Quickly Rising as a New Growth Engine

 

Many countries around the world are providing massive support for startups as they have come to recognize them as future economic engines that will turn the tide of low growth. With this trend, investments in startups are also expanding quickly. Three particular nations, among others, are currently leading the trend. Having long been the center of startups, the US has been implementing the “Startup America Initiative” since 2011, also launching the Office of American Innovation in 2017 to provide startups with full-fledged support. China is another country that is very active in supporting startups. Under the slogan of “Business Startups by the Public, Innovation by Everyone,” it has been pushing several key policies since 2014: nurturing chuàngkè (‘Innovative Entrepreneurs’ in Chinese), easing regulations, and establishing startup funds. The other nation known for providing generous support for startups is Israel. In Israel, the Office of the Chief Scientist under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor has taken the lead in terms of policies relating to startups, providing enthusiastic support at the government level for R&D, incubating, investments, and overseas operation.

Global Investment in Startups

Source : PWC/CB Insights, 2019. “Money Tree Report Q4 2018”

Silicon Valley in the US Offers the Most Favorable Ecosystem for Global Startups

 

• Center for startups and new business trends
• Bright people, sophisticated technologies, free and open culture, rich investments and capital

 

The ecosystem for startups in Silicon Valley is valued at USD 312 billion, almost 60 times the figure for Seoul. With the number of software startups alone reaching a whopping 13,000-18,000, there is no shortage of bright people, sophisticated technologies, and capital. Running on the so-called ‘pay-it-forward’ culture, successful senior entrepreneurs offer unconditional help for new startups. Such an open culture offers the perfect environment for startups to be born and prosper. It is the birthplace of many innovative ideas and business models, such as self-driving cars and the sharing economy.

Shenzhen in China Is Considered the
Silicon Valley of Hardware

 

• Young and dynamic city with an annual GDP growth rate over 40 years of 27%
• A wide range of startup support agencies and companies dedicated to hardware startups

 

Emerging as a new center for hardware startups, Shenzhen boasts a world-class ecosystem to support them. All of the components needed to manufacture such products are close at hand, including electronics and parts shops, design workshops, and prototype manufacturing places, substantially reducing the manufacturing time. In addition, the city is home to accelerators like HAX, factory-style manufacturers like Seeed Studio, and various co-working spaces, such as Trouble Maker and 3W Coffee, offering additional support in the management of hardware startups.

Tel Aviv in Israel Is the Silicon Valley of the Middle East

 

• A virtuous cycle of R&D – startup incubator – investments was kicked off by the government
• The Yozma Fund is one of the major components driving the startup ecosystem’s development

 

Tel Aviv has produced a remarkable number of startups, especially considering its area and population. Its startup ecosystem ranks 6th in the world, and the business ecosystem is valued at USD 30 billion. It is the Yozma Fund, in particular, that is driving the creation of the startup ecosystem in Israel. With 40% of funds coming from the Israeli government and 60% from the private sector, the Yozma Fund was created with the goal of supporting venture capital. Beginning with USD 250 million operated on a temporary basis, the venture capital market has expanded at a tremendous rate.

Tel Aviv in Israel Is the Silicon Valley of the Middle East

 

• A virtuous cycle of R&D – startup incubator – investments was kicked off by the government
• The Yozma Fund is one of the major components driving the startup ecosystem’s development

 

Tel Aviv has produced a remarkable number of startups, especially considering its area and population. Its startup ecosystem ranks 6th in the world, and the business ecosystem is valued at USD 30 billion. It is the Yozma Fund, in particular, that is driving the creation of the startup ecosystem in Israel. With 40% of funds coming from the Israeli government and 60% from the private sector, the Yozma Fund was created with the goal of supporting venture capital. Beginning with USD 250 million operated on a temporary basis, the venture capital market has expanded at a tremendous rate.

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