South Korea opened its largest startup complex near Seoul on Tuesday as part of its efforts to boost promising local startups and attract foreign companies. The "startup campus" in Pangyo, just south of Seoul, is designed to nurture more than 200 startups, offering workspace and consulting services for capital funding, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
They include the Yozma Group, an Israel-based global venture capital firm, and TEDCO, created by the Maryland State Legislature to support startups. Pangyo -- Korea's answer to the U.S. Silicon Valley -- is home to many technology companies, including NCsoft, a leading game developer.
"I hope that the startup campus will become a gateway that would link our startups to global markets," President Park Geun-hye said in the facility's opening ceremony. She also said the startup campus should spread Korea's ecosystem for startups to the world and play a part in attracting foreign investors.
The new campus is expected to become a hub for global start-ups and ICT-related businesses, authorities said. They added that they expect aspiring entrepreneurs to create more than 1,000 startups through the startup campus in the coming decade.
Park, meanwhile, said artificial intelligence and the information communication technology sector could be promising areas for startups and technological innovations that can fuel economic growth.
Her comments came amid newfound interest in artificial intelligence in Korea and other countries following the high-profile tournament between Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo and Korean Go champ Lee Se-dol.
AlphaGo, designed by Google's London-based firm DeepMind, beat Lee 4-1 in the five-round Go tournament. Park asked young Koreans to create new value and jobs through innovation, instead of competing against each other over existing jobs.