Seoul’s Innovative Approach to Tackling Public Challenges


The city of Seoul is kicking off a project to select and fund young adult-driven startups with the mission of solving public issues in Korea. The city intends to provide subsidies of up to KRW 1 billion for selected projects for two years.

The ‘Youth Project Investment Project’ is an innovative project that aims to create social values ​​through the lens of youth’s perspective and solve critically important public problems.

The city plans to provide fiscal aid for up to 20 selected startups that leverage technology prowess from private sectors.

The investment amount is estimated to be about 5 billion won in 2017 and 8 billion won in 2018, totaling 13 billion won. The admission committee is open to accepting applications from companies of any type (including project-type consortia) across all industries.

Any organization that has been issued a proper license as a registered corp. is eligible to apply. As a requirement, given the premise of the initiative, selected startups must hire at least 50% of the workforce comprising younger cohorts (19 to 39 years old) and retain their employment until the end of the project.

The submitted project ideas will be selected by a committee made up of city officials, experts and professors. There will be a written examination, and those who move on to the second round will be selected based on the quality of their business plan, the feasibility of the project plan, and founders’ motivation.

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