Finance Ministry teams up with Israeli venture specialist

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 14, 2014 - 21:07
  • Updated : Oct 14, 2014 - 21:07

Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance Choi Kyung-hwan (right) poses with Yigal Erlich, chairman of Yozma Group, an Israeli venture capital firm, Tuesday. (Finance Ministry)
The South Korean government joined hands with Yozma Group, an Israeli company specializing in venture capital creation, to foster start-ups in Korea and to realize its vision of a creative economy.

Vice Economic Prime Minister and Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan on Tuesday met with Yigal Erlich, chairman of Yozma Group, and Uri Gutman, Israeli ambassador to Korea, according to Finance Ministry officials.

“It is regrettable that many technically excellent venture companies have failed to grow into global units, due to language barriers and lack of business networks,” the minister said.

The Israeli company earlier pledged that it will open a Korean branch within the year and invest 1 trillion won ($939 million) over the next three years.

“We will round up the establishment procedure in October and open our office in the International Finance Center in Yeouido,” the group said in a statement.

“We successfully boosted Israel into a venture power through a series of Yozma funds, and we plan to share such experience to help Korea become Asia’s venture hub.”

The key purpose, according to officials, is to discover the “next Samsung” in the communications and information technology sector and to back its overseas business expansion, especially to China and Southeast Asian states, where the Korean Wave has created considerable economic leverage.

The Tel Aviv-based group was initiated back in 1993 to support foreign venture capital investments in Israel, and is also known to have served as an inspiration for President Park Geun-hye’s creative economy slogan.

By Bae Hyun-jung (