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KITA’s Startup Branch becomes mecca of innovative growth

KITA Chairman Kim Young-joo speaks at a startup open innovation ceremony held by KITA and Gangnam-gu in July. (KITA)
KITA Chairman Kim Young-joo speaks at a startup open innovation ceremony held by KITA and Gangnam-gu in July. (KITA)
The Korea International Trade Association’s open innovation venue Startup Branch is becoming a mecca for innovative growth among local and global firms.

According to KITA, it has been 500 days since the venue opened. Startup Branch was set up at Coex in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, in June last year to create a domestic startup ecosystem and encourage global scale-ups.

Since that time, leading local and foreign companies and startups have visited the venue and held about 400 large-scale events, including seminars, investor relations sessions and more than 1,000 meetups.

Startup Branch, located on the second floor of Coex, has IR pitching centers, conference rooms and networking lobby space. It has been open throughout the year, serving as a branch office for domestic startups to advance into the global market and as an open innovation hub for large and medium-sized domestic and foreign companies.

On the third Wednesday of every month, Startup Branch invites venture capitalists to participate in investor relations sessions in areas such as artificial intelligence and health care.

A representative program is “Fortune 500 Connect,” which facilitates one-on-one consultations between global companies and domestic startups.

From leading global companies such as Nivea, BMW, Chanel and Amazon to large companies in Thailand, investors in the Middle East and accelerators in Brazil, industry insiders from various overseas markets have visited Startup Branch to meet South Korean startups, KITA said. Since December 2018 there have been more than 600 consultations between Korean startups and 67 global conglomerates. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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