Seoul ranked 16 on the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 announced by the US-based innovation policy advisory and research firm Startup Genome, and Seoul’s ecosystem value was assessed at KRW 54 trillion (USD 47.2 billion).
This assessment was conducted on 280 cities in 100 countries around the world, and Seoul ranked four spots higher than its startup ecosystem ranking at 20th in 2021 to receive the highest assessment after its inclusion in the assessment in 2017. Seoul placed outside the top thirty ranking in 2019, but placed in the top twenty thanks to its R&D competency and has continued to rise in ranking.
Startup Genome specified the excellent pipeline of talented individuals and the high R&D investment as Seoul’s strong points. Seoul especially placed high in the top four global ranking in the area of “knowledge accumulation,” which is evaluated through research performance and patents. It was assessed that Seoul was home to a productive business environment, as nine of the eleven domestic unicorn companies (unlisted with more than KRW 1 trillion in enterprise value) are currently located in Seoul.
Furthermore, Startup Genome gave a positive evaluation of the growth potential of Seoul’s startup ecosystem regarding Seoul’s active startup policies, including the formation of the startup base (cluster) throughout the city of Seoul.
The Global Startup Ecosystem Report chose AI, big data and analytics along with life sciences and gaming as bullish industries in Seoul’s startup ecosystem.
In addition, of the six items for assessment on this Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Seoul’s startup ecosystem acquired 10 points in knowledge accumulation, 9 points in networking (connectedness), 6 points in ecosystem performance, and 5 points in both funding and market reach.
The ranking for the top five global ecosystems was the same as the previous year with Silicon Valley (US) at first, New York (US) and London (UK) at second, Beijing (China) at fourth, and Boston (US) at fifth. Six Asian cities ranked in the top twenty global report—Beijing (4th), Shanghai (8th), Tokyo (9th), Seoul (16th), Singapore (17th), and Shenzhen (19th).