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(LEAD) Google to open Campus Seoul for startups in H1 2015

All Headlines 14:43 August 27, 2014

(ATTN: CORRECTS headline)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Internet giant Google Inc. said Wednesday it will set up a start-up community called "Campus" in the heart of Seoul in the first half of next year to provide support to new entrepreneurs in the country regardless of business area and without any strings attached.

"Back in the 1990s, I was working, living in California. At that time ago, the Silicon Valley was only at an infant stage," said John Lee, who heads Google Korea, adding, however, that the region provided an incredible environment for entrepreneurs and gave birth to Google and Facebook.

"This is what Google Seoul Campus is all about. It is all about supporting entrepreneurs, it is all about building thriving eco-systems for startups," Lee told a press conference. "There is much, much more Korea can do."
<YNAPHOTO path='C:/YNA/YNACLI~1/Down/Article/AEN20140827004351320_01_i.jpg' id='' title='' caption='John Lee, head of Google Korea, speaks at a press meeting held on Aug. 27, 2014 to announce the launch of Campus Seoul. (Yonhap)'/>

The concept was first launched in London in March 2012, and the campus in Korea is the firm's third. A campus was also opened in Tel Aviv, Israel in December 2012. Google said the project's global network provides participants with a wide choice of opportunities.

"As the first campus to be established in Asia, the size (of the Seoul branch) will be similar to Campus London," Google said in a press release. "Just as London and Tel Aviv, the main goal of Campus Seoul is to create a vibrant startup community."

The Internet firm said Campus London provided startup programs to some 70,000 participants in its first year alone, adding that 247 startups have attracted a combined investment of 34 million pounds (US$56.2 million).

Google said the aim is to provide support to any potential startups with "big ambitions," adding the venue will allow visitors to seek mentorships and interact with other entrepreneurs with similar goals and ideas.

"There are no boundaries for business sectors at Campus. A entrepreneur can even come up to and make an application that works only on the iOS platform, and not on the Android," Google's Global Entrepreneurship Manager Bridgette Beam told Yonhap News Agency. "We don't need to filter any startups."

Beam said the project is not about making short-term profits, adding that all support provided at the campuses comes without strings attached. "When we make the Web better, we make Google better."

South Korea's ICT Minister Choi Yang-hee, who attended the event, also welcomed the opening of Campus Seoul, saying Google's move will also lend a hand to the country's creative economy drive, which focuses on generating new business opportunities by converging various industries.

The venue is set to open in the affluent Gangnam district of Seoul in the first half of 2015, although the exact date has not yet been decided.


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