Top 10 Startup Coworking Spaces in South Korea

Seoul’s Top 10  Coworking Space

Coworking spaces in South Korea are popping up all over Seoul.  This is because these coworking spaces are not just getting filled by startups but traditional companies.  The high cost of working in Seoul and the rising cost of traditional office spaces are some of the reasons for the rise of coworking spaces in Seoul.  Coworking spaces offer low-cost office spaces in prime locations like Gangnam and Apgujeong.  However, the most important thing a coworking space can offer is the community and network of other entrepreneurs in Korea that can share their advice and experiences.

South Korea is perfect for coworking spaces because of their great internet connection that makes working remotely easy.  We at Startup Radar researched the top coworking spaces in South Korea and ranked them based on guest contributor feedback and reviews from startup entrepreneurs in Seoul.  Here are the top 10 coworking spaces in South Korea.

10)  HIVE ARENA

Hive Area is located in Gangnam.  It is not big but they have a very strong and tight community.  They have the latest technologies for entrepreneurs to use like 3D printers.  They also offer free beverages, coffee makers, and a small library area.  The building is not new, it was built in 1972 mainly to be a study area and a library.  This is a great place to connect with the Korean startup community and learn more about the Korean startup ecosystem. Especially if you are a foreigner because it is one of the most English-friendly of co-working spaces in Seoul, you’ll find digital natives from the United States, England, France, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, and France, just to name a few. Russia, the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Singapore, England, and France.

Daily passes are $10 but we would recommend going for the monthly pass which costs only $150.

Address:  Seoul, Yeongdeungpo-gu, 신길동 453-3

Phone:  070-8666-1220

9)  Cow & Dog

Cow&Dog is located in Seongu Station and the whole building is theirs.  Their name is formed by combining Cowork and do good.  The coworking space can hold up to 90 startups and entrepreneurs primarily focused on making a social impact. The first floor offers a cafe area, the second floor has meeting spaces for workshops and events.  Members can hold their own events if they book in advance through their Cow&Dog mobile app.

They also have a coworking cafe and many events and pop up markets are held here.  They are also known for their workshops and talk shows that occur every month.

Address:  20 Wangsimniro 2(i)-gil, Seongsu 1(il)-ga 1(il)-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul

8)  SparkPlus

SparkPlus is located right next to Yeoksam Station exit 8.  It is a coworking space by SparkLabs one of the top accelerator programs in Korea.  The coworking space is filled with app developers, P2P fund managers, and engineers.  They have open spaces for networking and collaborations.  Their main event venue is called the Cube where networking parties and meetups can take place.

Address:  790-6 Yeoksam 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

7)  Maru 180

Maru 180 is great for networking.  Their basement holds fireside chats and networking meetup events.  It is located in Yeoksam.  There is also a co-working cafe called MicImpact Studio where entrepreneurs can network with other entrepreneurs, developers, and creators.  Maru 180 has 5 floors which are used to run the Asan Nanum Foundation accelerator program.  MARU means a large space between two rooms, so MARU looks to be a place to get together and exchange ideas.  180 means they are looking to change the startup scene 180 degrees.

Address:  790-6 Yeoksam 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

6)  Campus Seoul

Campus Seoul is a global network of coworking spaces operated by Google for Entrepreneurs.  They hold many startup events and programs such as Pioneers Seoul, Campus Talk series, and Campus Startup School.  The main goal of Google Campus Seoul is to help entrepreneurs in Korea succeed.  All you have to do to join the campus is to register and you will have access to the Cafe (Run by SooSoo Cafe) and free wi-fi.  You will also have access to all the programs and events at the campus.  Entrepreneurs can also join the Campus Residency and if they are selected they will be able to use the coworking office space for up to 6 months for free.

Address:  417 Yeongdong-daero, Daechi 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

5)  Fast Five

Fast Five located in Yeoksam and five other locations around Seoul.  Their main focus is on customer service for not only startups but also for small businesses.  They hold many networking parties and seminars.  There are many office space options from open space desks to your own private office.  Fast Five has a small 1% rate of empty office spaces over the last two years.  They recently got $10.5 million investment from TS Investment, ID Ventures, and Quantum Equity Partners.

Address:  1573-14 Seocho 3(sam)-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

4)  Idea Factory

Idea Factory is a coworking space that is open 24 hours to help young artists and designers from ideation to prototyping.  They mentor students to help them start their dream.  Idea Factory is being supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology, Culture Foundation, and Haedong Science.  It is used as not only a coworking space but also a place to exchange cultures with foreign countries, hold performances, and displaying cultural artworks that can be bought by the public.  Therefore Idea Factory is a space where all forms of culture can come together to collaborate.  The membership fee is $8 daily which comes with free coffee or juice.  A monthly membership cost $150.

Address:  Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Tehran-ro 4 gil 14 Mirin Tower  별관

3)  WeWork

WeWork is all around Seoul from Gangnam to Yeouido.  They take in industries of many sizes from startups to multi-national companies.  There are workshops and panel discussions from innovative leaders in Korea.  In addition, they offer cleaning services, high-speed internet, onsite staff, living-room style lounges, printing, office supplies, soundproof phone booths, conference rooms, and free coffee!

Address:  373 Gangnam-Daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul

2)  Seoul Startup Hub

Seoul Startup Hub is a place where entrepreneurs and startups in the South Korean startup ecosystem can network and collaborate with global players.  They have a large network of global VCs and Angels that startups can look to build connections.  Therefore, Seoul Startup Hub is great for startups looking to attract investments or go global.  They not only offer coworking spaces but also provide education programs and consulting.  Some of their programs include the Global Startup Incubation Program, Early Startup Incubation Program, and Kitchen Incubator.

Address:  21 Baekbeom-ro 31-gil, Ahyeon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

1) HEYGROUND

HEYGROUND which opened in June 2017 is an 8 story building for 550 social innovators, NGO/ non-profits, social ventures, and freelancers that want to join a community of Changemakers in Seoul.  Supporting Changemakers’ work, life and learning opportunities since 2012, Root Impact designed, developed, and is managing the space.  Not only is HEYGROUND a great coworking space but it gives the members a sense that they belong in a changmaking community.

The space offers free legal services, financial consulting, patent advice, and their network of global partners to help members’ sustainable growth.  The private offices are from the 2nd floor to the 5th floor and start at 360,000 won a month per person while the dedicated desks start at 240,000 won.  There is a coffee shop on the first floor as well as a restaurant that offers a variety of dishes.  Their roof layout is amazing and can accommodate up to 200 people for events which start at 150,000 won per hour.

Address:  Seoul, Seongdong-gu, 22-8

Conclusion

Coworking spaces are thriving in Seoul because Korean startups are having success there than being on their own.  This is mainly due to collaboration.  Korean startups can not only network and partner with other Korean startups but also global startups looking to enter the Korean market.  Startups are sharing their different skills.  This forms a strong community that helps one another.  Therefore it feels more like being with friends rather than work because coworking spaces bring a lot of freedom.  Hopefully, the lessons that can be had from coworking spaces will sneak into Korean corporate companies.

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, and the Intl. BD Manager at 500v2. Email = john@startupradar.asia Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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