As the startup ecosystem in Asia continues to grow, more and more Korean startups are looking to enter Southeast Asia as it is a promising market for expansion. Recognizing this trend, Accrete Innovation, in collaboration with N15 Partners and the Korea Institute of Startups and Entrepreneurship (KISED), conducted a dual city Market Access Programme under GMEP (Global Market Entry Programme), which was completed in Dec 2022. The program successfully accelerated 10 Korean startups across various sectors, including fintech, sustainability, social platforms, smart city, and MedTech.

Enter Southeast Asia via Singapore

Singapore has emerged as a strategic location for Korean startups looking to enter the Southeast Asian market, thanks to its favorable investment landscape and supportive government policies. The latest report by Startup Genome, published in 2022, ranks Singapore as the top startup hub in Southeast Asia, with a thriving ecosystem home to many successful tech startups. The city-state has proactively attracted foreign startups, offering various incentives and programs to help them succeed.

GMEP Program

As part of the GMEP program, the 10 Korean startups completed an 8-week program in Korea and Singapore, gaining valuable insights into the Southeast Asian market and making valuable connections with potential partners and investors. The program also saw a few of the startups successfully enter the Singapore market, with Accrete investing in one of them, Econexus Corporation, a sustainability startup that provides multi-sensor handheld metal alloy scanners for the scrap metal industry at a fraction of the cost.

“I had excellent mentors who helped me understand and improve various facets of my business, which led to triple-digit growth in our top line.
Accrete Innovation also connected us to Singapore’s broader startup ecosystem – major VCs, industry experts, and other dedicated entrepreneurs. Overall it’s been a great catalyst in expanding our business to Southeast Asia.” Econexus’ representative Tae Yeong Im, shares.

The GMEP program was unique in its inclusion of a Metaverse exhibition, which provided an immersive experience for startups to interact with visitors and investors through virtual reality headsets and browsers. The experience was a huge success, with Fibonacci, one of the participating startups, describing it as “an amazing opportunity to showcase our platform and interact with potential partners and investors uniquely and engagingly.”

“We are committed to helping corporates and startups that we are keen to invest in or commit to long-term advisory,” said a spokesperson from Accrete Innovation. “Through sharing our knowledge and networks, we assist in developing the right strategies to accelerate growth and market entry. Startups attending the program gain from the deep customized market research by Accrete’s specialized market research team.”

N15 Partners echoed Accrete’s commitment: “The GMEP program is a testament to the success of our partnership with Accrete Innovation and KISED. We believe that Singapore is the ideal location for Korean startups to enter the Southeast Asian market, and we are proud to be a part of the journey as they grow and succeed.”

In conclusion, the GMEP program and the Metaverse exhibition demonstrated the potential for Korean startups to succeed in the Southeast Asian market, particularly in Singapore. With its favorable investment landscape, supportive government policies, and thriving startup ecosystem, Singapore provides a unique opportunity for Korean startups to reach new heights.