By Kim Boram
SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) — The American tech giant Google has invested a total of 118 billion won (US$87.9 million) in the incubation of almost 500 South Korean start-ups and aiding them to expand abroad, according to a company representative on Thursday.
The ChangGoo Program, which was established in 2019 in partnership with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, is intended to discover potential young developers and new businesses and assist them in becoming profitable companies with the aid of Google’s IT infrastructure and global network.
The program includes various educational workshops and conferences, mentoring activities and networking events.
This photo provided by Google Korea shows Kay Shin, senior director of marketing, Asia-Pacific platforms and ecosystems, speaking during a press event on the company's ChangGoo Program in Seoul on Aug. 17, 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
Kay Shin, senior director of marketing, Asia-Pacific platforms and ecosystems, said the program is a unique one in South Korea, commending Korean developers for their ambitious spirit and exceptional skills, mentioning the Korean developer Sohn Ho-yeol who won the 2023 edition of Google’s data science and technology competition, Kaggle.
“There are many successful start-ups from our incubation program,” she said at a press event. “We have contributed more than 118 billion won to the ChangGoo Program since its launch to back those young companies.”
She stated that Google has invited 80 likely start-ups per year since the program’s inception in 2019, and the number was increased to 100 this year. Nearly 500 companies have taken part in the program over the mentioned period.
Participants in the ChangGoo Program have seen downloads of their applications increase by 140 percent and revenues by 62 percent from 2019-2021. About 69 percent of them also do business outside Korea, she added.
This photo provided by Google Korea shows Kay Shin (C), senior director of marketing, Asia-Pacific platforms and ecosystems, and participants of Google's ChangGoo Program posing for a photo during a press event in Seoul on Aug. 17, 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
“Our major goal is to serve as a gateway for helping Korean developers go abroad,” the Google official said. “This year, we will collaborate with Japan’s Google for Startups program and enable Korean developers to meet with Japanese experts before beginning their businesses in the neighboring country.”
Google for Startups is the tech giant’s startup incubation program at a global level.
At the press event, the three highest-performing start-ups from the ChangGoo program — Petpeotalk, Medility and Zackdang Company — also presented and promoted themselves.
This image provided by Google Korea shows the logo of the ChangGoo Program, Google's startup incubation program. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)