South Korea's startup scene is hot right now

The number of startups in South Korea has nearly doubled from 2008 to 2012.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

It's one of the most innovative countries in the world. It's also one of the most connected and has some of the fastest Internet speeds. South Korea is a tech-friendly country if there ever was one, so it's hardly a surprise that its startup scene is beginning to thrive.

Wall Street Journal reports that in 2008 there were 15,401 startups and last year that nearly doubled to 28,193. Spurred by successful entrepreneurs who are investing their money back into other startups, the young companies are also finding success with a subscription-based model:

Under the model, consumers pay a monthly fee and receive a package of products on a monthly basis. Other startups using the model include Memebox, founded in December 2011 and byBox started in May. According to Statics Korea, a state-run agency, revenue from South Korea's e-commerce market grew 16% last year to 999 trillion won ($895 billion), more than four times China's $190 billion in 2012.

Still, it's no Silicon Valley. South Korea has stricter bankruptcy laws which means starting a business comes with higher risk. That new businesses are blossoming anyway says a lot about the grit and promise of South Korea's startup scene.

But the startup economy isn't the only good news coming out of South Korea. In second quarter reports released last week, South Korea's largest company, Samsung, saw net profits rise 50 percent from last year. Meanwhile, the country's overall second quarter numbers beat expectations posting 2.3 percent growth, up 1.1 percent from last quarter.

Read more: Wall Street Journal

Photo: Flickr/jonasginter

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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