A new technology startup accelerator launches to further develop one of the world’s leading innovation nations by energizing its entrepreneurial ecosystem.
SparkLabs, a new startup accelerator in Korea, is seeking to fill the critical gap for Korea’s entrepreneurs who seek connectivity, knowledge and mentorship as they work to expand into the U.S., China, Japan and other locations across the globe.
"Korea has been a powerhouse of innovation in high technology. SparkLabs opens the door to new entrepreneurs to amplify and ignite their new ideas into new and growing businesses," said Vint Cerf, Vice President & Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Hanjoo Lee (co-founder of Hostway), James Kim (former executive at Nexon), and Bernard Moon (co-founder of Vidquik), who have started technology companies in the U.S. and Korea, experienced going public, raised significant amounts of venture capital and have also bootstrapped their startups.
“Hanjoo, Jimmy and I are excited about the launch of SparkLabs because of the developing startup ecosystem in Korea and the opportunity to add to it our network, capital and resources. We believe the timing is ideal to contribute to an incredibly strong innovation culture that has produced the first online gaming company in the world (Nexon), created the first online virtual economies and online collective intelligence & search as examples,” said Bernard Moon, co-founder.
SparkLabs will provide a similar model and program to Y-Combinator and TechStars in the U.S. while focusing on Korean startups in the Internet, online gaming, mobile, ecommerce and digital media sectors. The program will be three months long and provide free office space, relevant seminars, numerous perks and access to a top-tier network of mentors from the U.S. and across Asia.
“We’re excited to have an incredible group of advisors and mentors from Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, to Vint Cerf, one of the “Fathers of the Internet”, to Charles and Kai Huang, the founders of Guitar Hero, who will be helping to guide SparkLabs and our participating companies,” said Hanjoo Lee, co-founder. The full list of mentors can be seen at www.sparklabs.co.kr/en/mentors
SparkLabs is a member of the Global Accelerator Network and its first presence in Korea. The Global Accelerator Network consists of independently owned and operated startup accelerator programs in dozens of cities across the United States and around the world. To join the Network, accelerators must prove they have a model and terms that are extremely favorable to entrepreneurs. Currently, the Network has most of the top accelerators in the world including TechStars (its charter member), Excelerate Labs, StartupBootcamp and Springboard.
The application process for SparkLabs’ first class will open on August 30, 2012. For more information, please visit www.sparklabs.co.kr
SparkLabs is a startup accelerator founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs in South Korea. The focus will be on startup companies from the Internet, online gaming, mobile, ecommerce and digital media sectors. The mentorship-driven program will be three months in length and provides funding, office space, a structured program and access to a top-tier network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors and executives. SparkLabs seeks to contribute to and help develop South Korea’s startup ecosystem. For more information, please visit www.sparklabs.co.kr
About Global Accelerator Network
The Global Accelerator Network consists of 50 of the top startup accelerators from around the world including TechStars, Excelerate Labs, StartupBootcamp and Springboard. All accelerators in the Network utilize a mentorship-based, short-term model with terms that are extremely favorable to entrepreneurs. The Network started alongside the Startup America initiative and continues to provide networking opportunities, training, special perks, and ongoing support for its members and their entrepreneurs.