Startups in Korea need to find the right contacts in order to survive.  Knowing which VCs can help you is the key in any early success for Korean startups.  Here at the top 5 Venture Capitalists that every Korean startup should know and get to know.

John Ryu

5) John Ryu is a seasoned startup operating executive with a lot of early stage investment experiences, John has been a Partner at Scout Ventures since 2011.  Before that he was a product manager at WebMD.  At Scout Ventures which is based on New York City, John is in charge of the east coast, focusing on tech startups in the early seed stage. What makes him a great investor is his extensive operator background as well as his experience in large corporate tech companies.   John received his B.A. from Yale, and MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.  He is looking to expand from the east cost of the United States to the Asian global market.  If that happens Korean companies need to keep an eye on them.

Richard Jun

4) Richard Jun is the Managing Partner at BAM Ventures, renowned for their successful ventures with startups such as Shoedazzle and Honest Company.  BAM Ventures is based out of Los Angeles, California and was found by Brian S. Lee.  These Korean Americans are always look for creative and innovative startup companies.  They focus on early stage venture investments across all sectors.  They currently mainly focused on Los Angeles and Southern California based companies, however because of their Korean American background and a large Korean/American community in Los Angeles, they should be open to Korean startups that want to go global by first testing the market in Los Angeles.  Richard Jun was a transactional attorney who graduated from Harvard College, and received his J.D. at Columbia Law School.

Hyuk-Jeen Suh

3) Hyuk-Jeen Suh was hired by Samsung Ventures in 2012 and is now the head of the Samsung Ventures East Coast office. Hyuk-Jeen Suh has worked with J.P. Morgan investment banking, MEMSIC (a startup in the automobile and consumer electronics industry), Sequenonm (a biotech startup).  Hyuk-Jeen holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering, B.A in economics and M.E in electrical engineering, all from Cornell University.  He earned his MBA from Yale School of Management.  Finally he earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, focusing on Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He looks for Korean startups with promising technologies that can be used with Samsung’s own products.

John Nahm

2)  John Nahm is the Managing Director for Strong Ventures, a seed fund that finances, supports and mentors global entrepreneurs.  They have funded over a million dollars so far.  John grew up in Spain and can speak, English, Spanish, and Korean.  He focuses mainly on investments directly into Korea, and those that have Korean founders in the United States. John has had a successful career in many sectors such as the high-tech industry, the public sector, and the financing world.  A Korean startup in the high-tech industry can benefit greatly from Strong Ventures.  John has a passion for high-tech and venturing and is the perfect person to launch products globally a key difficulty with Korean startups looking to enter the global market.  John earned his M.A. in International Business and Finance as well as his B.A. in Economics from Columbia University.

David Lee

  1.  David Lee was apart of the first 200 employees at Google.  He was hired in 2000 and was the very first executive in charge of overseas business development, sales, and operations. He was responsible for international ads as well as opening Google offices in Asia.  David is also the co-founding partner of SK Telecom Ventures, a $100M corporate venture fund based in Silicon Valley, and was in charge of investments in internet and mobile sectors.  Korean startups are largely in the mobile app industry.  Therefore David Lee co-founded KStartup, the first Asian startup accelerator funded by Google to try and find the latest mobile/internet startup company in Korea.



1 Comment

  1. […] Yes. Korean investors are craving for the next big South Korean Unicorn (seen below via Strong Ventures).  They are even willing to invest in imperfect startups just for the chance to hit it big.   Korea is becoming more globalized than ever.  Young entrepreneurs are learning English and getting experience abroad and Korean investors are taking notice. The growth does not seem like it will stop anytime soon.  That is why in 10 years the possibilities in Korea are endless. […]

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