Insiders, though, criticize the inefficiency of many of these government-funded initiatives. For many, there is too much easy money. On top of that, the ecosystem is very fragmented and doesn’t foster collaboration.
“There were about 467 accelerators, venture capital funds, and government organisations supporting startups in Seoul and its surrounding province in 2018, some backed by bigger companies such as Samsung and Naver. There are 85 accelerators in Seoul, and the amount of angel investment increased from about US$170m ($250m) in 2015 to US$250m in 2017.”
Too much money, though, isn’t necessarily the challenge for South Korean startups. Most of them are, like in Japan, very local by nature. They cater most of their products to their domestic market. Although having a smaller country, startups tend to have a slightly more international view than in Japan.