Korean startups are ditching Gangnam style to go Seongsu style

[Photo by Park Hyung-ki]

[Photo by Park Hyung-ki]

Startups in Seoul are moving their base from high-tech savvy Gangnam district in southern Seoul, to Seongsu-dong in northeast of the capital, fast rising as a trendy neighborhood dubbed as ‘Brooklyn of Seoul” brimming with warehouse converted buildings and explosion of bars and diners, for cheaper rent and young inspiration.

Seongsu-dong was once lined with small factories and old buildings, but spacious and high-ceiling warehouse ambience have become home to stylish cafes, fine restaurants and galleries, turning into a hot spot for young people.

Since it is where the action is, young and flourishing startups are packing up to move into the neighborhood for inspiration in new trends and chase after new talents. The country’s largest car-sharing platform SoCar and social startup accelerator Sopoong Ventures are headquartered in the quarter. Imaging radar solution provider Bitsensing and startup accelerator Future Play moved their base from Yeoksam in Gangnam to Seongsu. Krafton, the game developer preparing for one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPO) this year, also bought a land in the area for 65 billion won ($57.5 million) to build a new office building.

[Photo provided by Future Play]

[Photo provided by Future Play]

Young entrepreneurs used to start their business in Teheran-ro in southern Seoul where many state-run startup support centers are located. But due to the rising rent in the region, new businesses are migrating to Seongsu and its adjacent areas that are less busy, cheaper to rent and have more trendy and talented young people.

“Seongsu that is emerging as a cultural center is a good place to start and grow new businesses and it is where our customers are located,” said Future Play CEO Ryu Jung-hee.

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“Seongsu is a place where old and new come together and has many unique cafes and artsy places that stimulate workers’ creativity, and that’s why Musinsa has picked it as its new base,” said an employee from Musinsa. The place can also make an appeal to millennials and Generation Z-ers who care most about their work-life balance and personal well-being, according to an industry official.

By Hong Sung-yong and Choi Mira

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]


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