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D.Camp opens largest startup boot camp in S.Korea

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun holds a canned coffee made by an autonomous articulating arm -- robot -- in an exhibition booth at the opening event of Front 1, a startup incubator launched by South Korean startup accelerator D.Camp in Mapo-gu, northwestern Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun holds a canned coffee made by an autonomous articulating arm -- robot -- in an exhibition booth at the opening event of Front 1, a startup incubator launched by South Korean startup accelerator D.Camp in Mapo-gu, northwestern Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)



D.Camp, a Korean startup accelerator backed by local lenders, on Thursday launched Front 1, a startup incubator that will run a range of support programs for fledgling startups in Seoul.

Located in Mapo, the newly launched startup center is the largest in size as an incubator, and is set to house some 100 startups, it said. The startup center is expected to form a startup cluster together with other incubation organizations located in the district, including Seoul Startup Hub and IBK Changgong. Members at Front 1 will receive business consulting from seasoned experts and potential investors.

“Korea boasts top-tier capabilities in the global IT and manufacturing sectors, but it has been short of building a healthy ecosystem for startups,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun in his speech at the opening ceremony of the new startup center. “The launch of Front 1 will be a focal point for the growth of the nation’s venture segment.”

The government will create a fund, worth 72 billion won ($60.3 million), to invest in member startups at the incubator. Local investors including Lotte Accelerator, Primer and Capstone Partners will open their respective offices within the Front 1 building, and will offer investment and advisory services.

“The incubator will be a place where state-run institutes and private businesses work together to give full support for budding startups that try to achieve innovation in people’s lives,” said Kim Hong-il, head of D.Camp.

D.Camp was launched with 500 billion won jointly invested by 18 banks here in 2012.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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