23 Nov, 2023
  • Strategic partnership to propel startups in Abu Dhabi and Seoul, South Korea to expand their footprints in the respective markets and scale

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has signed a strategic cross-border partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, to support the international growth and commercial activities of tech startups in the UAE and South Korea.

The strategic partnership is based on mutual support and collaboration, which builds on the robust trade relations established between the two countries. Hub71 and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will focus on creating cross-border business opportunities for startups with the aim of targeted expansion in both markets. Through the strategic collaboration, founders will receive comprehensive business setup support, assistance with navigating local regulatory environments and access to extensive corporate and investment networks to capitalize on market opportunities within their respective ecosystems.

Abu Dhabi’s startup ecosystem value has seen a growth of 134 per cent, making it the sixth fastest globally and biggest in the MENA region, according to Startup Genome. With Seoul's startup ecosystem ranked 12th globally with US$211 billion in ecosystem value, the partnership will allow startups to leverage each city's unique strengths and resources to access vibrant, connected global entrepreneurial landscapes that are leaders in fostering innovation, economic growth, and job creation.

Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, said: “Our strategic partnership with Seoul is a significant step towards our commitment to supporting the growth of tech startups in Abu Dhabi. We aim to provide access to international opportunities across the world’s leading tech hubs. We believe our partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government will help startups enter the dynamic tech ecosystems of Abu Dhabi and Seoul where they can develop innovative products and solutions that can have a lasting impact. We are confident this collaboration will empower startups to grow and scale globally.”

Startups referred through this partnership will receive expedited access to grants, incentives and subsidy programs operated by Hub71 and Invest Seoul, the city’s Investment Promotion Agency. This streamlined process will help startups access readily available capital and the resources required to scale and build sustainable businesses, in addition to attracting world-class talent who can support the development of cutting-edge technologies in both markets.

Kyoung Hwan Park, Director-General of Finance, Investment & International Relations Bureau of the Seoul Metropolitan Government said, “This MOU marks the first step in mutual cooperation between Seoul and Abu Dhabi.” He added, “Through the strategic partnership with Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s leading global tech ecosystem, we anticipate fostering active exchange to enhance the startup ecosystem within both cities. To that end, Seoul will spare no effort in providing assistance, promoting collaboration by introducing each other’s ecosystem, supporting the market entry as well as jointly organizing events which foster innovation and entrepreneurial activities in Seoul and Abu Dhabi.”