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The Office of GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN

PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Hogan Announces Partnership Between Maryland’s Global Gateway Initiative and Korean Startups Agency

Agreement Focuses on Connecting Korean Businesses With Maryland Incubators, Providing Maryland Companies With Incubation Services In Seoul Area

ANNAPOLIS, MD—As part of his economic development mission to Asia, Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Korean Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups Agency (KOSME) will become a member of Maryland’s Global Gateway Initiative, which connects international businesses with local incubators and accelerators.

“Maryland is proud to have an unabashedly pro-business environment, and thanks to our world-class infrastructure, our premier universities and research institutions, and our continued leadership in key industry sectors, we have built an unrivaled ecosystem of job creation and economic growth,” said Governor Hogan. “Now, we are laser focused on attracting even more foreign investment through our Global Gateway Initiative, and we are excited that KOSME is now the second partner to formally join this program and the very first in Asia.”

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The first program of its kind in the United States, Maryland’s Global Gateway Initiative is an innovative soft landing program that helps attract international businesses to Maryland and ease their transition into the U.S. market. Earlier this year, the governor announced an initial investment of $2 million for the initiative, which currently includes the participation of 20 Maryland accelerators and incubators. Ireland’s Guinness Enterprise Centre became the first partner of the initiative in June.

Maryland and KOSME signed a cooperative agreement in 2021 pledging to support Korean businesses in green and high-tech sectors that were interested in doing business in the United States. The expanded partnership announced today will link the Global Gateway program to KOSME’s Global Youth Startup Academy—one of 20 business incubators operated by the organization—which focuses on emerging technology companies that are looking to reach overseas markets.

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Through this incubator, KOSME—a nonprofit organization funded by the South Korean government—will offer eligible Maryland companies physical space, mentoring, educational programs, and other services, in the Seoul metropolitan area. As a Global Gateway partner, KOSME will also work to promote Maryland as an investment destination for Korean companies interested in the U.S. market through the Global Gateway’s network of Maryland-based incubators and accelerators.

“Through the partnership established in 2021, KOSME and the State of Maryland have developed localization programs in the biohealth and renewable energy sectors, which are core industries for both regions. These efforts laid a foundation for Korean SMEs to enter the U.S. market,” said KOSME President Kim Hak-Do. “It’s very meaningful for us that KOSME has become a partner in Maryland’s Global Gateway Exchange initiative. KOSME will spare no support to help emerging companies from Maryland smoothly enter the Korean market, using the expertise and experiences in supporting startups and SMEs KOSME has accumulated since its establishment.”

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South Korea is Maryland’s 12th largest trading partner, with an average of more than $500 million in commercial transactions occurring every year.

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