"We will help start-ups in Gyeonggi Province that have high growth potential and do our best to create new jobs."
After Gyeonggi Province hosted the NRP accelerating program Japan VC investment Round last November, four start-ups participated in the Tokyo VR start-up demo day as a follow-up step and have received positive evaluations from investors. NRP is a VR/AR accelerating program of Gyeonggi Province with a system that aids start-ups with high growth potential from their global market entry to follow-up investment.
This did not stop Gyeonggi Province from doing even more. It participated in Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, the world's largest IT and consumer electronics show, that was held in Las Vegas from January 9 to 12 (Tuesday to Friday) and provided comprehensive support and encouragement to the Korean start-ups. In Las Vegas, Aving News met with Dong-Kwang Ahn, the Content Industry Director of Gyeonggi Provincial Government.
Mr. Ahn commented on how he felt about participating in CES 2018. He said, "It is truly extraordinary to come to the world's largest IT exhibition and have the chance to see global companies and their products." He added "In particular, the rapid growth of Chinese companies caught my eyes. Ten years ago, Korean companies were far ahead of Chinese companies, but China has caught up considerably and is now just behind us." To the Korean companies, he offered the following words of advice and support: "Korean content companies should feel that they are being challenged and develop themselves further."
Gyeonggi Province does its utmost to support the companies they foster. Aving News asked Mr. Ahn about the direction Gyeonggi Province has set for promoting the content industry in 2018. He expressed his determination, saying, "What Korean content companies do best is never giving up. Gyeonggi Province has been considering how to strengthen the advantages that Korean companies have and how to support them." He continued "Rather than being passive due to concerns about policy failures, we will make active investments in the content industry so as to lead industry trends."
He also talked about the initiatives that the Gyeonggi Content Agency, a subsidiary of Gyeonggi Provincial Government, will focus on. "We will focus our full support on VR contents and game contents. When companies participate in overseas exhibitions, we will actively invest in promotion through advertising, media matching and other methods of promotion. It is our aspiration to create a large number of jobs through this program. We will also focus on company support programs such as the provision of office space and legal consultations, things that companies actually need in real life."
There are certainly issues in supporting companies. Mr. Ahn mentioned his concerns, saying, "We are concerned about what kind of content companies we should situate in industrial complexes. We have invested a great deal of thought in choosing between traditional contents and VR, how to construct a program, and how to create synergy between them."
Aving News asked about the overall plan of Gyeonggi Province in 2018, which had been providing a complex solution to strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. Aving News also asked Mr. Ahn to reveal some of the plans to be introduced here. He responded, "We have a plan to focus on job creation in the content industry and synergy creation between the manufacturing and contents industries through the establishment of a convergence town in an industrial complex of Gyeonggi Province. It will start with the opening of the Cultural Creation Hub of West Gyeonggi Province near the Siheung Industrial Complex at the end of this January." He requested considerable interest in the Cultural Creation Hub of West Gyeonggi Province. He also explained this year's plan, saying, "We will accumulate data and experience by linking the current manufacturing industry to the content industry, and based on that, we will further expand content industry development policy."
Finally, Mr. Ahn unveiled the plan to participate in CES 2019. He said, "If we participate in CES 2019 next year and prepare a special booth for Gyeonggi Province, it would give advantages to the companies in creating promotional strategies through brainstorming and implementing them accordingly. Ultimately, all of this is part of the plan to create more jobs."
Through this interview, Aving News learned the real concerns of Gyeonggi Province, which is doing its utmost to create jobs and support start-ups. Through Gyeonggi Province's diverse support programs, there can be no doubt that their aspiration to strengthen the global competitiveness of companies that have the potential for growth will soon be realized.