Event Details

In 2021 the number of unicorns in South Korea grew from 13 to 18, according to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. The government is keen to see that continue, launching a project to find and nurture even more promising new ventures. Many of Korea's unicorns are in the tech space, revolutionising e-commerce and food deliveries, accommodation bookings and house hunting, while the newer fields of fintech and cryptocurrency have also seen much startup activity.

Korea currently ranks in or near the top 10 nations worldwide with its number of unicorns, who are increasingly competing for talent, attracting young college graduates away from the giant, well-established chaebol conglomerates. But chaebol are not about to roll over, acquiring some startups before they have the chance to grow into unicorns or go public.

Despite South Korea's status as the 2nd highest spender on research and development (after Israel), most of the funding comes from the private sector, leading to calls for more government support at the R&D stage and in promoting startup friendly policies. Also, South Korea is not yet able to attract global talent in the same way that Singapore or Silicon Valley can. How can South Korea do better?


7:30 AM - 7:45 AM
Registration and Networking
7:45 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
Networking (Optional)


Conrad Seoul, Studio 1+2 (6FL)

10 Gukjegeumyung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu,
Seoul, Korea (South)

If you have any questions please contact EICN North Asia

Contact Organizer

Show on map


  • Dr. Cheol Soo Ahn (Member of the 21st National Assembly at Republic of Korea)

    Dr. Cheol Soo Ahn

    Member of the 21st National Assembly at Republic of Korea

    Dr. Cheol Soo Ahn is currently a member of the 21st National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. He is also a member of the ruling party, the People’s Power Party. He was a two time Chairman of the People’s Party, and two time Assemblymen, and three time a presidential candidate. Prior to his political career, he was a medical doctor, a professor, and an entrepreneur. He earned his medical degree from the Seoul National University, and was a professor at the Seoul National and KAIST(Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). At SNU, he was the Dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, and at KAIST, a Chaired Professor at the Graduate School of Innovation and Technology Management. His interest in science and technology led to his invention of an anti-computer virus software, a.k.a. V3. After years of work, he founded an anti-virus software company in 1995, today known as the Ahn Lab. He earned his fame and reputation through free of charge distribution of the software to the Korean public. The software is still available for free.

    Dr. Anh holds two master’s degrees from UPENN but from two different schools. One was a M.S.E. from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1997, and the other from the Wharton School in 2008. He was also a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School from October 2019 to January 2020.

    view more
  • Jong Yoon Kim (Chief Executive Officer at Yanolja and Yanolja Cloud)

    Jong Yoon Kim

    Chief Executive Officer at Yanolja and Yanolja Cloud

    Jongyoon Kim leads Yanolja Co., Ltd. which operates both the platform business for travel and leisure-related services and the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution business driven by Yanolja Cloud. As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kim is responsible for the overall strategy and business performance of Yanolja Co., Ltd., and Yanolja Cloud.

    The platform business of Yanolja Co., Ltd. provides integrated travel and hospitality services including South Korean domestic and overseas accommodation, leisure, performance, transportation, and package travel through its portfolio of superapp platforms, including Yanolja, Interpark, Daily Hotel, and Triple.

    Yanolja Cloud was established as a separate entity in 2019 based on its Web 3.0 technologies bringing a paradigm shift to traditional travel industry. Yanolja Cloud provides cloud-based SaaS solutions for hotels to residences, food and beverage establishments, together with golf and other leisure facilities, in more than 170 global markets. Having grown through widespread adoption of its proprietary solutions, Yanolja Cloud has also made multiple acquisitions and investments as it accelerates its ambition to be the preferred solution provider meeting the evolving needs of the global industry. Yanolja Cloud’s solutions support frictionless consumer experiences and drive operational efficiency for business operators.

    Jongyoon Kim joined Yanolja Co., Ltd. in 2015 as Chief Strategy Officer and in 2021 was elevated to Chief Executive Officer of Yanolja Co., Ltd. Mr. Kim added to his responsibilities in 2021, becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Yanolja Cloud. Prior to Yanolja Co., Ltd., Mr. Kim held various leadership positions with global organizations including McKinsey & Company, Google, and 3M. He holds a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering (BEng) from Seoul National University, Republic of Korea, and completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, United States of America.

    view more
  • Jacco Zwetsloot (Network Moderator, Seoul at Economist Intelligence Corporate Network)

    Jacco Zwetsloot

    Network Moderator, Seoul at Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

    Jacco Zwetsloot has lived in Korea for 20 of the last 25 years, with a broad range of work experience in the communication, legal, tourism, training and broadcasting sectors. He has worked as an English teacher, a tour guide for the US military, a regular radio show guest, and a translator of North Korean propaganda. Currently, Jacco works as a content creator for a communications consultancy Insight Communications Consultants, hosts a weekly podcast about North Korea, moderates panel discussions, writes a monthly Korean newspaper column and still leads occasional lunchtime walking tours in downtown Seoul for the Royal Asiatic Society Business & Culture Club. Jacco holds a Master of Arts degree in Korean Studies from Leiden University, a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from Monash University and a separate Bachelor of Arts in Modern European Studies and German Language from the University of Melbourne.

    view more