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Creative Economy

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Creative Economy,
Korea's New
Engine for Growth
"The Creative Economy builds on the creative ideas
of our citizens combined with science, technology
and IT to accelerate convergence between industry
and industry, and industry and culture to
create new markets and new jobs."
  • Creative Economy Platform

    A strong Creative Economy platform including
    Centers for Creative Economy and Innovation
    turn bright ideas into commercial success.

  • Expanding the Startup Ecosystem

    Starting up a successful business is
    easier than ever in Korea's dynamic startup
    and venture-backed enterprise ecosystem.

  • Developing Future Growth Drivers

    Future growth drivers
    help create dynamic
    new industries.

  • Focal points for creating
    new jobs and
    building new industries

  • The Centers for Creative Economy & Innovation serve
    as regional Creative Economy strong points to discover
    creative new ideas and turn them into commercial success and
    help SMEs grow into world-leading companies, ultimately
    creating new jobs and driving the creation of new industries.

  • Building the Creative Economy by
    Turning Ideas into Commercial Success

  • The Creative Economy Town is an idea
    commercialization platform that provides an online space
    for the free exchange and development of ideas.

  • Suggesting an Idea

    Share the seeds
    of creativity in the Town

  • Mentoring + Incubating

    Leverage expert advice to sow
    the seeds of a new startup

  • Public/private Support

    Let your startup grow with
    tailored support programs

  • Commercialization

    Let your enterprise bear fruit
    with seminars and training programs

  • Centers of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • The Startup Campus is the core of the Pangyo Creative Economy Valley and a key driver of global innovation, featuring Korea's largest startup hub,
    support organizations, Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, Korean and international accelerators, and leading global companies.

  • Convergence Cultural Content
    Platform Fusing
    Culture with Creativity

  • The Culture Creation and Convergence Belt provides
    an indigenous creative ecosystem based on a virtuous cycle
    encompassing the planning,production, consumption and
    industry-creation of convergence cultural content, boosting economic
    growth by driving the Creative Economy and cultural expansion.

  • Starting up and growing a business made easy

  • Lower barriers and costs for launching a startup creates an environment where anyone can become an entrepreneur.

Helping top tech companies form venture-backed enterprises and grow

Enterprise verification system identifies leading technology companies to help
them form startups and attract top talent with better stock option programs.

Tailored consulting service for startups

One-stop consulting service provides customized financial, legal, patent and other information required by new startups trying to navigate the market,
lawyers and patent attorneys help companies transition into a market (one-stop service linked with CCEIs).

Real-world technology solutions for SMEs & mid-sized firms

The "SOS 1379" one-stop service supports SMEs and mid-sized firms facing technology-relatedchallenges
due to talent and information shortage, serving as the "research center for SMEs and mid-sized firms"
with coordinated assistance from over 50 expert agencies from multiple ministries including MSIP.

  • Systematic Support for
    Startup>Growth>Global Expansion

  • A wide range of policies and institutions are being overhauled
    to provide systematic support throughout the business cycle,
    from startup to growth, withdrawal and re-startup.

  • Diverse sources of funding

  • The ecosystem is designed to facilitate and diversify funding,
    from promoting crowd-funding that draws in multiple
    individual investors backing a creative idea
    to technology financing through technology
    assessment, more tax benefits
    for angel investors, and hosting IRs in CCEIs.

  • Expanding the secondary market

  • An index for startups and SMEs (KONEX),
    streamlined M&A system and more M&A funds,
    M&A promotion and other initiatives help expand
    the secondary market and support innovation and growth.

  • Better environment for re-startup

  • Exemption from joint-liability for startups less than 5 years
    old,wiping of credit record after a successful credit rebuild,
    quick credit rehabilitation scheme, and more financial
    support for re-launching a startup turns a first attempt into
    experience for a more successful venture.

  • Developing future
    growth drivers

  • 19 future growth drivers including drones,
    autonomous cars and wellness care will
    recieve special attention, with greater
    financial and tax support to create
    new industries and new jobs.

  • Developing regional
    strategic industries

  • Working with CCE&Is, key industries tailored to each city
    and province help revitalize the local economy and
    bring high-quality jobs to the community.
    ※ Big data (Gangwon), bio & beauty (Chungbuk),
    automobiles (Gwangju), carbon tech (Jeonbuk), etc.

  • Creating new industries
    by streamlining regulations

  • Regulations governing new industries such as drones,
    the IoT, autonomous cars, big data and bio healthcare
    are overhauled into negative regulations and reduced to
    global standards to help turn technologies
    into businesses and industries.

  • R&D

  • More investment in basic and fundamental research
    and tiered R&D focus by industry, academic and research
    institutions help direct investment into national
    strategic sectors, overcoming low growth and
    expanding future growth engines.

Exemplary cases of creativity and imagination


Waste collection management solutions


01. Introduction

Smart Waste Collection

Launched by three business management students and three engineering students, E-Cube Labs specializes in coming up with innovative ideas and technologies in the environmental management and energy industries. E-Cube is transforming the urban environment through bright, unprecedented solutions. Their star product is the "Clean Cube," a trash compacter that is charged by solar power and capable of compacting trash to 1/5 of its original volume. Another product, the Clean Cap, is affixed to the lid of a trash receptacle to detect the amount of trash in the bin. Data collected by Clean Cube and Clean Cap can be monitored and managed in real-time by Clean City Networks (CCN), a dedicated software solution. CCN can provide the most up-to-date collection data, analysis and reports, and optimize collection route information via the Web or on a mobile app. These products cannot keep the city clean, but can reduce the number of garbage collection vehicles needed to process the same amount of trash, which in turn can cut carbon emissions, fuel costs and the number of trash bags. Work efficiency of sanitation workers can be boosted considerably, ultimately delivering both economical and environmental dividends.

02. Startup Story

Inspired by trash piling up at night

CEO Kwon Sun-beom and the other young founders of the company had all been interning at social consulting groups (SCGs), where they were donating their time and expertise. CEO Kwon noticed that trash continued to pile up on city streets at night when the sanitation workers were gone, from which he drew the idea for his innovations. The founders of E-Cube Labs realized that they could combine commonplace solar power technology with trash compacts to create new solutions. They acquired funding by entering their ideas into numerous contests and startup competitions, and poured it back into creating a prototype. Just finding someone willing to manufacture the prototype was a challenge, and the young founders visited countless factories along Cheonggyecheon in Seoul and in Siheung, Gyeonggi-do. Finally, after more than ten attempts at creating a working prototype, the team was able to develop a product that met their exact requirements, and succeeded in patenting their new invention.

03. Performance

“We Dream of a Green World”

  • 2011

    European Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Europe-Korea Business Plan Competition Award

    Selected by the British Council-LRQA “Asia Environmental Protection Idea Support Project”

  • 2012

    Financing received from Coolidge Corner Investment

  • 2013

    MOU signed with URM, an Australian waste management company

    M2M partnership agreement signed with Vodafone

    Received Innovation Badge at Pollutec, the international environmental exposition

  • 2014

    Frost & Sullivan M2M Green Excellence in Technology Innovation Award

    Australian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) 2014 Innovation Zone finalist

04. CEO Interview

“We will keep pushing ourselves until the day we see a Clean Cube on every street corner in the world.”

  • questionWas starting a new business different from what you had expected?
    answer Having an idea in your head is one thing, but actually applying it to real life was something else entirely. I think our manufacturing process took about three times longer than predicted, due to the sheer amount of trial and error we went through. While we had to deal with numerous hurdles, looking back I think the process was much more pleasant than we initially expected.
  • questionWhat are the three most important things for an entrepreneur?
    answer I would say that the three most important things are strong mental fortitude that doesn't get buffeted by every success or failure, good partners you can rely on, and a level head that allows you to study the market objectively. You must be prepared for the worst and be armed with the willpower to weather any storm. As for your partners, you need people from different backgrounds who can work together as a team. A business will success if every member can share the same value as part of a community and have the same dream. Finally, an objective and accurate view of the market is needed to develop the right new product in the most efficient manner.
  • questionDo you have any advice for future entrepreneurs?
    answer Sometimes it's difficult to draw an accurate picture of exactly where you want to take your new company. I would say that if you have a clear picture of your goals and your drive, you should go for it. There is considerable support available from various sources, including the government, universities, foundations, the Korea Venture Business Association, and more. Rather than be afraid and wonder, "Can I really do this?" hit the pavement and search for the support that's out there waiting.
  • questionWhat is the ultimate goal of your company?
    answer Our goal is to become the top company in this industry, not just in Korea but in the world. We will focus on technological development and aggressive marketing and keep pushing ourselves until the day we see a Clean Cube on every street corner in the world.
ID INCU image

Idea INCUbator


01. Introduction

Research Solution for Everyone

Companies and organizations often need a variety of research services, from discovering initial product concepts to surveying trends, studying customer satisfaction levels and more. ID INCU released "Open Survey" in 2011, designed to overcome the time and cost limitations of existing research methodologies. The new service created a more efficient research process by employing a high level of data processing capability and assigning highly qualified technicians and operations. With its own 270,000-strong panel, the company takes just three hours to carry out a nationwide survey. The innovative new platform has enabled anyone to quickly read the changing winds of the market. From large conglomerates to government agencies and even a university student working on a paper, Open Survey allows anyone to quickly and accurately gather opinions, responses and data.

02. Startup Story

“Couldn't we run high-quality studies using less time and money?”

Having majored in information and industrial engineering, CEO Kim began working on a new mobile service while still a student. While designing the new service, he consulted a research company in order to learn what customers wanted in this type of service. He was told that such a survey would take at least three weeks and cost him the hefty sum of 20 to 30 million won. He felt that in today's fast paced world, there was no reason why a survey should take that long and cost that much money, and decided to develop a fast and inexpensive research solution.

Traditionally, surveys relied on expert researchers to analyze data which resulted in considerable costs as well as time. After a long and arduous development process, ID INCU finally developed Open Survey as a dedicated survey platform that uses the smart phone to increase the speed of data collection and utilize an automated reporting process that takes advantage of advanced IT technology. The company currently runs over 1,000 surveys annually for over 700 clients including Hyundai Card and 3M.

03. Performance

A New Research Paradigm

  • May, 2013

    Secured mobile panels comprised of 240,000 persons as of May, 2013 Open Survey secured 310 corporate customers with 1,400 survey counts

  • May, 2013

    Entered into MAS contract with the Public Procurement Service (multiple supplier contract), registration with the total shopping mall of Korea Online-E-Procurement System (the purchase can start from June)

  • February, 2013

    Official partner of IDG Digital Marketing Conference 2013 (one of the three major marketing forums nationwide)

  • January, 2013

    Registered as the official survey company for Korea 3M in 2013

  • September, 2012

    Became the first domestic mobile research company to be an affiliate of ESOMAR (European Society of Opinion and Marketing Research)

  • May, 2012

    Open Survey 2.0 launching/upgrade

  • March, 2012

    Attracted the investment from SoftBank Ventures, StoneBridge Capital (KRW 1.5 billion)

  • February, 2012

    Attracted the second angel investment (Cho Seong-mun, Vice President, Facebook, etc.)

  • December, 2011

    Launched the Open Survey 1.0

  • November, 2011

    Attracted the first angel investment (Shin Hyeo—seong, founder of Ticket Monster, etc.)

  • February, 2011

    Established ID Incu Co., Ltd.

04. CEO Interview

“We want to create a society where everyone can make the best decision.”

  • questionWas starting a new business different from what you had expected?
    answer Anyone can consider starting up a new business, but actually putting it into action is difficult. When we were struggling to secure enough financing during our early days, we were selected to take part in a government startup promotion project that allowed us to go through an incubation program in Silicon Valley. We were able to learn everything about the startup ecosystem by using successful startups as our role models, from recruiting to financing. A venture capital firm provided the initial investment that we needed to bring our company fully online.
  • questionWhat are the most important things for an entrepreneur?
    answer The first factor is to have a goal. The goal should not merely be making money, but should be a definition of why I'm doing what I'm doing. ID INCU's goal is to "innovate communication so that anyone can make the best decision possible," and I believe this socially meaningful goal made us who we are today.
    The second factor is communication. Starting up and running a business is one long and extended communication process, from interacting with your acquaintances who are uncertain about your success, to your cofounders who will be your comrades, the investors who need to be convinced about the long term potential of your firm, and many others.
  • questionWhat is your management philosophy or principle?
    answerPeople come first. No matter what our goals are, we cannot reach them unless we have people who can make our dreams a reality. Next is an objective and accurate insight on people, and last but certainly not least is corporate ethics. A company that does not meet the ethical expectations society has on it will never have a bright future.
  • questionWhat is the ultimate goal of your company?
    answer While research is vital for any organization, only a select number of large companies could take full advantage of the process due to the high costs associated with it. Open Survey, however, has allowed companies to acquire relevant and accurate information on which they can base their decisions. We want to create a society where everyone can make the best decision.
Sticky Monster Lab image

A multidisciplinary creative studio

Sticky Monster Lab

01. Introduction

Bring in the Monsters

From the Bird Monster that feeds on blood, the Sausage Monster that can take itself apart, and the Running Monster that, well, likes to run, these monsters are grotesque yet adorable. These cute and funny creatures dance and frolic, doing things that most people would not dare to do.

Sticky Monster Lab is the design studio behind these delightful characters. Rather than shoehorn themselves into established fields of the character business, they have engaged in designing and creating whatever strikes their fancy, from figures and exhibitions to product designs, advertisements, and much more. They have won fans of all ages, from children to adults who are still children inside, and today they are known as a brand with limitless potential for growth and expansion.

02. Startup Story

Three Friends Out to Have Fun

They started small. In 2007, three close friends came together, crowned themselves animation director, art director and figure artist, and began making an animation. Each project was built upon careful examination of the brand or product they were promoting or designing, into which they mixed their own flair and whimsy. Each product became a part of their portfolio, eventually winning them major clients.
The name of their company is simply the combination of each of their favorite words: "sticky", "monster" and "lab". These three seemingly unrelated words that come together to form one of today's most up-and-coming design companies shows the unique color, flavor and balance that the company strives to maintain.

03. Performance

“Our monsters are already worldwide stars.”

  • Sticky Monster Lab History Awards
    • Awarded the Grand Prize in the category of animation, 2012 Fubiz Awards 2012 held in France
    • Awarded the Best Animation Prize in 2011 in the Creators Project held in the United States
  • Exhibitions
    • Participated in 2012 & 2012 Hong Kong Art Fair 'Public Fair No.1‘, held in Hong Kong
    • Participated in 2011 03 by Sticky Monster Lab, Platform Place, held in Seoul, Korea
    • Participated in 2010 Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Conventions (STGCC), held in Singapore
    • Nike Sportswear Platoon Kunst Halle marking the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Seoul in Korea
    • 2009 Art Gallery ‘Bomnadli (Spring Excursion)’ Attack Incident, Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul, Korea
    • Post Toytopia: Between Art and Entertainment, KT&G Coexistence, Seoul, Korea 2008 The Monsters, Daily Projects, Seoul, Korea
  • Artworks
    • Production of 2013 MTV (global) Ident
    • Entered the SML x Rolling Stones(Bravado) collaboration product
    • Entered the SML x Instax mini collaboration product
    • Entered the SML x Cafri collaboration product
  • Developed the 2012 Save the Children character
    • Produced the REPORT M App magazine
    • Launched the SML x Nissan Cube collaboration product
    • Launched the SML x Beanpole collaboration product
    • Launched the SML x The Creators Project Facebook character app
    • Launched the limited version case of 2011 SML x Incase iPhone 4/4S
    • Launched the SML x Beatball Music compilation album “The Loner”
    • Produced the Loner film
    • Produced the 2010 CJ One Lifestyle Membership graphic and film
    • Large LED Artwork covering the entire surface of Seoul Square building
    • 2009 SML x Nike x 360 Stadium Show graphic design
    • Nike Sportswear FA 09 Seasonal Presentation
  • The Father Film Production
    • 2008 360 Stadium New Year Party graphic and film production
    • The Monsters film production
    • 2007 Nike The Runners film production
    • Produced overall visual identify design for RESFEST Film Festival
04. CEO Interview

“We'll never stop creating”

  • questionWas starting a new business different from what you had expected?
    answer I never thought I'd start up a company until I began working on Sticky Monster Lab. Struggling through an often-times difficult process, I acquired a deep respect for people who raised successful businesses, no matter what their field or industry.
  • questionWhen were you the happiest after founding Sticky Monster Lab?
    answer I would first like to thank the entire Sticky Monster Lab family. Their hard work always teaches me, and their constructive criticism gives me the motivation that drives me forward. Because of them, every day is my happiest.
  • questionWhat is your management philosophy or principle?
    answer Since we have worked hard to bring Sticky Monster Lab to where it is today, I want to make sure I never become complacent or lose sight of my goal. I also believe that we should always put in our best effort, in every project. That way, our hard work begins to impact other areas and win us new business opportunities.
  • questionWhat is the ultimate goal of your company?
    answer I want our work to be fun, and do what we really want to do. We used the word "lab" as part of our company name to show that we will never stop creating, never stop innovating, and most of all, never stop enjoying ourselves.

Food waste management solution


01. Introduction

An Idea that Transformed the Kitchen

Countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and Brazil, are constantly struggling with finding the best and most eco-friendly way to deal with ever-increasing food waste. While a variety of solutions had been proposed, a breakthrough solution seemed out of our grasp until Loofen came up with a revolutionary way to process and even recycle food waste using dehydration.

Breaking free from the traditional image of a dirty and odorous garbage bin is crucial for ensuring the successful commercialization of a food waste processor, so Loofenlee focused on developing both design and product features. These efforts paid off when the company received the "Red Dot Design Award", one of the world's top three design awards, in 2007.

With elegant lines and great features, Loofenlee has had over 800 million won in sales just one year after its release, and is currently being readied for release in overseas markets including Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe.

02. Startup Story

Loofen, Two Years in the Making

President and CEO Lee Hee-ja was an ordinary stay-at-home mom. One day, she saw on the news that new regulations would begin requiring food scraps to be separated from regular waste for disposal. Seeing an opportunity, she began to develop a new product in 1998. Working with like-minded acquaintances, she succeeded in developing a food dehydration technique but could not get past that stumbling block of every new garbage-related tech-controlling odor. Bent on solving this problem at all costs, she went to a leading Japanese company and insisted that she wouldn't leave until the company's president met with her. Impressed by her passion, the company allowed her to return to Korea armed with the know-how for odor removal. After a two-year period of trial and error, Korea's first food waste processor "Loofen" was born.

03. Performance

Growing into a World-class Eco-friendly Pioneer

  • 2003

    Company founded

  • 2006

    Nov. “IENA International Trade Fair” - GmbH Silver Prize, Special Prize

    Dec. “Seoul International Invention Fair 2006” - Gold, Silver and Bronze Prizes for home,
    commercial products

  • 2007

    Apr. “35th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions” - Gold Prize

    Oct. 2007 Red Dot Awards Design Prize

  • 2008

    Apr. “Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions” - Best Invention by a Woman Award

  • 2011

    Jul. Began exporting commercial food disposal unit LF-50 to Ireland, France, Italy

    Aug. Began exporting food disposal units to Malaysia

04. CEO Interview

“Loofenlee's goal is to bring high quality but reasonably-priced products that can be used anywhere, by anyone.”

  • questionWas starting a new business different from what you had expected?
    answer Developing the product itself took considerable time and effort, and was not easy. Once we finished our product, however, we realized that it was equally challenging to secure the customer base that would use our product. Thus we are now constantly putting ourselves in our customers' shoes to identify the key factors that entice our customers to purchase our products.
  • questionWhat are the three most important things for an entrepreneur?
    answer When I first started my business, I was a stay-at-home mom without connections or a lot of work experience. However, I had creative passion, the perseverance to never quit, and a willingness to face challenges and take them head-on. I believe these factors allowed me to successfully create a business.
  • questionWhat is your management philosophy or principle?
    answer Our goal is to make a cleaner and better world by developing products that can help everyone, including people like myself who may not be altogether familiar with new gadgets and machines.
  • questionWhat is the ultimate goal of your company?
    answer We are currently exporting or preparing to export our products to Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe. We will continue to develop even more innovative and eco-friendly food disposal systems to cement our position as the industry leader. With continuous research, development and innovation, our ultimate goal is to provide high quality but reasonably-priced products that can be used anywhere, by anyone.