Kotra tells start-ups to enter European market

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Kotra tells start-ups to enter European market

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The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) advised local start-ups to enter the European market, stressing that it provides more opportunities for funding and growth.

The report comes in time with President Moon Jae-in’s nine-day tour of the continent, which started Saturday.

According to the trade promotion agency, Europe offers a favorable environment for start-ups to do business, especially in terms of funding and regulations.

Last year, Europe’s investment into start-ups increased by 84 percent year-on-year to 19.17 billion euros ($22.2 billion), according to data from Ernst & Young. Cities in Europe spotlighted as favorable spaces for start-ups include London, Berlin and Paris.

“Korean start-ups have not yet actively tackled Europe,” Kotra said in statement. “But Europe is a promising market for the firms to grow in.”

Data from Kotra says 61.6 percent of Korean start-ups with overseas business have operations in Northeast Asia, 29.7 percent in Southeast Asia and only 10.1 percent in Europe.

As European governments and companies have been increasing cooperation with non-European start-ups to secure the latest digital technologies, especially in the area of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, robotics, cybersecurity and fintech, Kotra advised Korean tech start-ups to find chances to cooperate with European accelerators.

According to Kotra, seven Korean fintech start-ups have already moved into the office space of London’s fintech hub Level39 to boost collaboration. A Korean start-up that developed AI-based business platforms was also selected by incubating program goAustria, which is run by the Austrian government.

Attracting investment from venture capital programs operated by European conglomerates could be another way to enter Europe, Kotra says, as conglomerates become increasingly interested in fostering start-ups themselves.

On Monday, Kotra opened up a Korea-France Start-up Summit in Paris jointly with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Small & Medium Business Corporation and Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development in its effort to beef up cooperation between Korean and European start-ups.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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