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POSCO’s Venture Platform, an Ambitious Growth Strategy for the Future

2019/05/24

l POSCO signs an MOU with the MSS (Ministry of SMEs and Startups) and KVCA (Korean Venture Capital Association)
l The Platform to revitalize the local economy in Pohang & Gwangyang
l POSCO successfully hosts the 17th Idea Market Place at POSCO Center in Seoul

POSCO is initiating ‘POSCO Venture Platform’ to catalyze growth for future industry.

The company announced the details of the plan at the 17th Idea Market Place held at POSCO Center in Seoul on May 21. On this day, POSCO signed an MOU with two stakeholders: the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), and the Korean Venture Capital Association (KVCA). The project budget is set at 1 trillion KRW.

POSCO Venture Platform aims to discover potential business prospects through proactive investment towards venture companies with the hope the initiative will ultimately help establish a sound ecosystem for Korea’s startup communities and create new jobs.

At the core of the POSCO Venture Platform, there are two schemes: Venture Valley is one and Venture Fund the other. Venture Valley is a hub where startup entrepreneurs can collaborate on R&D, draw investment, and share knowledge, on the whole, creating synergy. Venture Fund is a route through which investments can be made towards promising startups, both Korean and global companies. By 2024, a total investment of 1 trillion KRW –200 billion for Venture Valley and 800 billion for Venture Fund – will be made towards the initiative.

“To lead changes in the future, we must take maximum initiative to recognize innovation and take actions. Now,” POSCO CEO Jeong-Woo Choi said during the event at POSCO Center in Seoul. He continued, “POSCO’s 1-trillion investment is a stepstone towards creating a virtuous cycle for the venture platform, to revitalize the country’s startup ecosystem, and create more jobs.”

Young-Sun Park, the Minister of MSS said, “Through channels like POSCO’s Idea Market Place and strategic venture fund, the Ministry will spare no efforts to help create a virtuous cycle for Korea’s entrepreneurs.”

POSCO’s venture platform is mainly three-fold: (1) utilizing the company’s current University-Industry Collaboration scheme (e.g. R&D and technology commercialization projects with Pohang University of Science and Technology, and Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology) on the basis of which (2) POSCO’s Venture Valley is established where startups spark synergy through each collaboration, and (3) through Venture Funds, POSCO supports entrepreneurs from incubating phase offering holistic guidance through each growth stage.

At POSTECH, POSCO is set to create new academic departments that will help foster indispensable workforce for future industries. At the RIST, the company will kick off new tech projects for which the company sees new growth opportunities. POSCO will also revitalize its current University-Industry Collaboration policy, one such effort being a joint research lab where researchers from both institutes can collaborate.

For the next four years, 200 billion KRW investment will be made towards establishing infrastructures within the Venture Valley, like Pohang Incubating Center and Gwangyang Knowledge Industry Center. The fund will also be used to install additional synchrotron radiation facility and to establish a new data center.

POSCO aims to make Pohang and Gwangyang as an R&D hub for aspiring startups. The businesses include materials, energy, and environment based on third-generation accelerators, development of bio and new medicine based on fourth-generation accelerators and the formation of smart cities and factories.

POSCO will initiate the Venture Fund scheme with an investment of 2 trillion KRW – 800 billion from POSCO and 1.2 trillion from outside investors – from 2019 to 2024.

The MSS and POSCO will jointly support startups through venture valleys in Pohang and Gwangyang. The Korean Venture Capital Association will focus on identifying promising startups for potential investors.
As for the ’17th Idea Market Place (IMP)’, a unique program that offers nurturing environment for growth and development of startups, POSCO provided sixteen venture companies an opportunity to present their business ideas and prototypes whose expertise encompassed diverse fields such as biotechnology, medicine, machinery and materials, electricity, electronics and knowledge services.

Meanwhile, in recognition of the company’s proactive support for youth entrepreneurs and venture companies, POSCO received the MSS’ recognition for its outstanding corporate partnership endeavor, pursuing shared growth with small business partners and local communities.

▲ 17th Idea Market Place event at POSCO Center in Seoul where POSCO announced its ambitious plan, scaled at 1-trillion KRW, to support aspiring startups. POSCO CEO Jeong-Woo Choi, left, holds an agreement with the MSS Minister Young-Sun Park, center, and KVCA Chairman Sung-In Chung.

 

▲ POSCO CEO Jeong-Woo Choi and the MSS Minister Young-Sun Park offering public demonstration of a product presented by one of IMP participant companies.

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