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Posco pledges another decade of startup support

Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo (second from right) poses with participants at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of Idea Marketplace, held at ChangeUp Ground Pohang on Thursday. (Posco)
Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo (second from right) poses with participants at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of Idea Marketplace, held at ChangeUp Ground Pohang on Thursday. (Posco)

Marking a decade of operating its startup accelerator program, South Korean steelmaker Posco on Thursday vowed to continue supporting the local startup ecosystem, particularly in fields related to its future strategic businesses, including hydrogen, secondary battery and green materials. .

“The Idea Marketplace has become a representative accelerator program for startups in the country. For Posco, it will continue to play a role in exploring new business items,” said Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo, in an event marking the 10th anniversary of the firm’s startup accelerate program.

Posco launched the Idea Marketplace in 2011 to connect venture companies with investors and support prospective startups with direct investments.

At Thursday’s event, held at CHANGeUP Ground Pohang, one of Posco’s startup incubator centers, the country’s largest steelmaker presented IMP’s works and achievements of the past decade.

Some 100 people attended the event, including Pohang Mayor Lee Kang-deok.

“Posco’s IMP is the first startup accelerator program launched by a conglomerate here, and it has made great contributions for the growth of startups in the country over the past 10 years,” Kwon Chil-seung, Minister of SMEs and Startups said, delivering his congratulatory message via video.

Looking ahead, Posco unveiled a new vision for the IMP program dubbed “Good To Great,” under which the firm hopes to produce global unicorns and NASDAQ-listed companies from its IMP.

As Posco aims to transition into an environment-friendly material manufacturer and expand its businesses in secondary battery materials and hydrogen-related items, the steelmaker will look for startups with similar goals, the company said.

Via IMP, Posco selected 411 venture companies and had directly invested a total of 21.5 billion won ($18.3 million) in 132 of the startups over the past decade.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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