Seoul selected as one of 10 best startup cities
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, June 15, 2022 – Seoul was selected as the 10th best startup city in the world. This is the highest rank for Seoul on record, and Seoul’s ecosystem value was estimated to reach 223 trillion won ($177 billion).
Startup Genome, a global startup ecosystem evaluation agency located in the U.S., released the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 on Tuesday, June 14 (local time in London). Seoul ranked among the top 10 cities around the world, rising 6 spots after having recorded 16th last year. It was announced during the Elevating Founders program at London Tech Week at 11 am, local time in London.
Seoul entering the global top 10 cities is a proof that Seoul has a world-class startup ecosystem. Seoul was lower than the top 30 in 2019, and then rose to 20th in 2020 and to 16th in 2021, continuing its record growth. Seoul’s ecosystem value went up from 47 trillion won in 2020 to 54 trillion won in 2021 and to 223 trillion won this year, more than quadrupling over the past two years.
The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 evaluates and analyzes a total of six success factors. Seoul was evaluated excellent (7 points and higher) in Funding (9), Knowledge (8), Performance (7), Connectedness (7), and Experience and Talent (7), and averaged (5 points) in Market reach.
In particular, Startup Genome said that large-scale exits contributed greatly to increasing Seoul’s startup ecosystem value, and that the early-stage funding in Seoul recorded significant growth. Five large-scale exit cases, including Coupang, greatly increased Seoul’s startup ecosystem value (54 trillion won in 2021 to 223 trillion won in 2022). Seoul saw improved early-stage funding, ranking first in the Funding success factor among all Asian cities, surpassing both Beijing and Tokyo.
Seoul’s active and aggressive overseas investment attraction centered on ‘Invest Seoul’, a foreign investment promotion agency. Bold startup policies to foster innovative companies contributed to the growth potential of the startup ecosystem by creating startup bases such as Yeouido (fintech), Hongneung (bio, medical), and Yangjae (AI).
The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 selected AI & Big Data and Analytics, Life Sciences, and Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics as Seoul’s sub-sector strengths.
The top 5 global startup ecosystems were as follows: Silicon Valley (US) ranked first, New York (US) and London (UK) tied for second, Boston (US) fourth, and Beijing (China) fifth. The top 3 cities are the same as last year, and the fourth and the fifth cities changed places this year. Among the global top 20 cities, five including Seoul are in Asian countries. Beijing (5th), Shanghai (8th), Seoul (10th), Tokyo (12th), and Singapore (18th). Beijing fell from 4th to 5th, and Tokyo fell from 9th to 12th.
Seoul’s place in the top 10 global startup ecosystems for the first time is a result of Seoul’s continuous efforts to create an innovative startup environment and cooperative efforts by participants and Seoul will continue to build a startup ecosystem by fostering future talents, create a welcoming environment for investors, and support promising companies’ overseas market expansion to create 40 global unicorns with the goal of making Seoul one of top 5 economies by 2030.