Israeli firm plans campus to encourage start-ups

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Israeli firm plans campus to encourage start-ups

Yozma Group, one of the world’s top venture capital firms, is planning to open a campus to foster start-ups in December at the Pangyo Creative Economy Valley, Gyeonggi, focusing on the biotech and healthcare industries.

The group, based in Israel, will focus on helping start-up founders hone their skills and support them in the challenges they face.

Yozma Group Chairman Yigal Erlich visited Korea earlier this week to finalize plans for the center. He met with Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Choi Yang-hee on Tuesday morning.

“We hope Yozma Group picks new start-ups with large potential and helps them abroad, with the group’s experiences and global business network,” Choi was reported to have told Erlich at the meeting.

Erlich answered that “the government has done a good job in organizing a healthy business atmosphere for start-ups,” saying that active participation of venture capitals like Yozma will contribute not only to fostering global companies but also to creating jobs.

He added that Yozma Group will do more than simply funding activities, focusing on stabilizing Korea’s start-up business environment from a long-term perspective.

The Yozma Start-up Campus will be located within the Pangyo Valley’s R&D center, where private companies, research institutes and universities are involved in joint projects.

Foreign venture capitals, including 360IP, Fenox and Brightstar Partners, will enter the Yozma Campus, as well as investment consulting firm Clearbrook; accounting firm Samil Pricewaterhouse Coopers; overseas market exploration assistance firm Panda Korea; and management consulting firm Global Excellence.

The Israeli firm first promised last September to open a start-up center in Korea when the Park Geun-hye administration unveiled its plan to open creative economy innovation hubs in the nation’s major cities.

The group has also announced it will participate in the government’s three-year economic innovation plan by forming a 200 billion won ($169.3 million) start-up fund called Korea Yozma Fund by 2017.


BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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