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State-run Youth Startup Academy set to recruit record-high number of students

Branches across the country to accept applications until Feb. 8

The state-run Youth Startup Academy has recruited 1,065 students so far, already a record-high number, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups said Monday.

Established in 2011, the Youth Startup Academy has so far fostered 4,798 young entrepreneurs and created 13,718 jobs while generating 4.78 trillion won ($4.35 billion) in cumulative sales from startups that began with its support.

South Korea’s leading fintech unicorn Viva Republica’s Toss and one of the country’s most popular real estate apps, Zigbang, graduated from the Youth Startup Academy.

With the addition of its new branch in Sejong, the academy will accept young innovators at 18 locations across the country this year. The Youth Startup Academy has branches in Seoul, Paju, Incheon, Ansan, Wonju, Cheonan, Cheongju, Sejong, Daejeon, Gwangju, Jeonju, Naju, Jeju, Gyeongsan, Daegu, Ulsan, Busan and Changwon.

Applicants must be under 40 and represent a business that started operating less than three years ago.

The Youth Startup Academy will provide various forms of support for the entrepreneurs it accepts, including office space, education, financial aid of up to 1 billion won, and the infrastructure needed to produce prototypes.

Applications can be made through the government’s startup website (, and recruitment is open until 5 p.m. on Feb. 8.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (