South Korea doubles startup funding in 2014

Over US$18 billion in grants and loans will be available for new ventures, and the program will be expanded to all four of the country's special R&D zones.

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South Korea will double the amount available for grants and loans this year for new ventures to a total of 10 billion won (US$9.3 million), according to Joongang Daily.

This is part of a program by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning's tech start-up financing initiative, which will now be expanded to include all four of the country's special R&D zones. In the first year, the program was limited to companies in the Daejeon R&D zone, but Gwangju, Daegu and Busan R&D zones, noted the report.

Eventually, the amount of funding will be increased to as much as 200 billion won (US$186 million) by 2018.

The funding is backed by the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) which lends a level of corporate credibility to recipients. Eight ventures were funded last year from a pool of 48 candidates, with each getting as much as 2.5 billion won (US$2.3 million).