Plan for Korean Silicon Valley is put together

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Plan for Korean Silicon Valley is put together

The government finalized its plan for the Pangyo Creative Economy Valley, Korea’s version of Silicon Valley, and wants to complete construction by the first half of 2017.

Economy-related ministries held a meeting Wednesday and made the final decision on the valley, which is supposed to attract 600 technology-based companies by 2018: 300 start-ups and 300 more mature companies in their third and fourth year of business.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it plans to redesign expressways, road networks, bus and subway lines near the area to shorten the travel distance from Gangnam District in Seoul to just 20 minutes.

Pangyo, a section of Seongnam, Gyeonggi, already has the Pangyo Techno Valley, where more than 200 IT, biotech, chemical and game companies, including Naver, AhnLab, SK C&C and NCsoft, are present.

The government says the new valley has the different role of fostering start-ups and boosting communication among them.

“The Pangyo Creative Economy Valley has its main emphasis on start-ups,” said Jeong Byung-yoon, head of the land urbanization division at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, at a joint briefing held at the Sejong Government Complex. “The existing Techno Valley, which was started by IT giants, lacked communication among the companies and with nearby universities and research institutes.”

“Korean social media company Cyworld started much earlier than Facebook, and Korean online video streaming service Pandora TV started out earlier than YouTube,” said Ko Hyung-kwon, head of the public-private creative economy cooperation division at the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. “Those early starters from Korea failed to grow bigger because the domestic market is too small and they lacked global networks. At the Pangyo Creative Economy Valley, we would like to foster next-generation IT pioneers.”

A plot of about 430,000 square meters (106 acres) has been earmarked consisting of land formerly used by the Korea Expressway Corporation and a plot that was formerly restricted from being developing in Seongnam.

Early-stage start-ups will be able to rent office space on the campus at a rate of only 20 percent of the Pangyo area’s average for up to three years.

More mature start-ups, which often face management crises when they start running out of money, will be able to rent office space at 70 to 80 percent of the average prices in the area.

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