Google opened a campus for start-ups and business entrepreneurs in the Gangnam district of Seoul on Friday. Built in the capital city of South Korea, the site marks the first Google start-up center in Asia. Previously, the company started such sites in London and Tel Aviv, a city in Israel.
Why Google chose Seoul
Google claims that South Korea’s burgeoning start-up culture and extensive use of smartphones made Seoul a suitable place for opening a start-up center. Further, the start-up culture is witnessing substantial growth in the Gangnam district, which has drawn the interest of app developers, entrepreneurs and investors.
“We feel we’re at a tipping point where Korean start-ups will begin going global,” said Jeffrey Lim, who heads the Seoul Campus operations.
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Establishments for start-ups such as D. Camp and Maru 180 have found a place in the area in recent years. Additionally, rising companies in the district are experiencing an inflow of capital investments from Japan and California. Almost every day, a meeting or conference among tech start-ups takes place in Gangnam, which is also a home to a major business conglomerate housing South Korea’s largest business group, Samsung.
In regards to the newly opened site, Mary Grove, Director of Global Entrepreneurship for Google, stated that the main aim of the campus in Seoul is to “create a space where entrepreneurs can thrive.” The campus, spread across 2,000 square meters, features an open plan office created to encourage emerging companies to work together.
Moreover, the internet company intends to organize events for technology start-ups and to counsel female entrepreneurs with children. In addition, the Seoul start-up site, being the only one owned by Google on the continent, aims to provide start-ups from other countries with a better understanding of the markets in the country and in other neighboring areas.
Google campuses are not-for-profit projects, where a basic membership is free and space is provided at very affordable rates. Also Google holds no financial interest in any of the start-ups using the facility, but we can be sure that the internet giant will be keeping a close eye on them as you never know when a million or billion dollar idea will pop up.