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Google Campus Seoul pledges tailored support for startups

Google Campus Seoul, a co-working space for startups operated by the US internet technology giant, on Tuesday pledged to offer more tailored support to South Korean startups to help their growth and global expansion in 2017.

“This year, we want to offer more tailored programs to encourage new growth, global expansion and diversity among Korean startups,” said Jeffrey Lim, head of Google Campus Seoul.
Google Campus Seoul head Jeffrey Lim (second from right) poses with local startup CEOs at the Campus Seoul headquarters in Gangnam, Seoul. (Google Korea)
Google Campus Seoul head Jeffrey Lim (second from right) poses with local startup CEOs at the Campus Seoul headquarters in Gangnam, Seoul. (Google Korea)

Speaking to the local media, Lim outlined plans to organize diverse programs that can guide startups through key entrepreneurial challenges such as marketing, business model planning and data management as well as recruiting and overseas expansion.

For a start, Campus Seoul on Tuesday opened up recruitment for its Campus Residency Program, which invites selected startups to be housed at its headquarters for six months.

Starting from May, the chosen startups can enter Campus Seoul’s office space and take part in the exclusive programs offered by Google. They are eligible to apply to extend their stay at Campus Seoul for another six months, Lim said.

Google’s co-working space will also regularly hold Campus Startup School sessions to educate startups in areas such as app marketing, profit model strategizing and cloud computing.

Campus Seoul also plans to introduce its Campus Experts Summit, a program that invites experts from Google’s global offices to mentor Korean startups for two weeks in fields ranging from advertising and sales to data analytics and user interface design.

“It’s a continuation of last year’s Google Experts Week, with added improvements to offer support tailored to the needs of individual startups,” Lim said.

Google Campus Seoul has also lined up plans to help local startups go global. It will pick out Korean startups interested in entering Southeast Asia, and organize an on-site accelerating program for them.

The Campus Exchange program will also continue this year, inviting overseas startups interested in the Korean market to Seoul to meet with local startups and learn about the local startup ecosystem.

“The program will benefit foreign startups that are interested in the Korean market, home to an advanced gaming, media contents, entertainment and healthcare sector,” Lim said.

Other standout programs from Campus Seoul include Campus for Moms — a nine-week, baby-friendly startup school for mothers striving to open a startup — and Campus Recruiting Day, which helps startups recruit new employees.

Google Campus Seoul’s two partnered venture capital funds -- 500 Startups, which operates the 500 Kimchi fund here and Strong Ventures -- also unveiled their investment agenda for 2017.

Tim Chae, CEO of 500 Startups, said the fund plans to invest around $4 million in 14-20 Korean startups this year. Strong Ventures said it would invest 4.5 billion won ($3.92 million), of which around 3.4 billion won would be set aside for investment in new startups. 

By Sohn Ji-young (