■ The first domestic case of the government, large companies and impact funds working together to establish a startup ecosystem in the “eco-friendly” sector
■ Eco-friendly startups agree on the necessity of “EGG,” a program tailored to startups
– It complements the weak points of startups such as investment, technology support, regulation improvement, and others,” said Ecoin Energy CEO Lee In
– “The program supports us in material development, IR coaching, ESG certifications, etc.” said Right Route CEO Shin Min-jeong
On November 11th, SK Innovation participated in the AVPN Northeast Asia Social Investment Summit and led a panel discussion session by citing an example of South Korea’s first eco-friendly startup ecosystem cultivation model so called EGG*, which was developed in collaboration with the government, large corporations and impact funds.
*EGG: A coinage of ‘E’ from SK Innovation (as in ‘S’ which has a phonetic symbol ‘es’) and ‘G’ from Green startups, it indicates solidarity to build together.
AVPN (Asian Venture Philanthropy Network) is the largest Asian impact investors and social innovation organizations’ network that gathers about 600 global investment agencies, corporations such as BlackRock and the Rockefeller Foundation. Large companies, foundations, investors, supporting organizations, and innovative enterprises attended this year’s summit, which took place in Seoul, Korea from November 10th to 12th, 2021, and covered a wide range of topics including ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) related impact investment, sustainable management, public-private cooperation, and more.
From September this year, SK Innovation, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, and the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development have been operating EGG, a “large corporation co-op program based on startups leap package” to foster the green startup ecosystem. Through EGG, 20 eco-friendly startups were selected to be nurtured into Green Unicorn Enterprises.
Startups selected by EGG program will each receive up to KRW 300 million as business support fund based on their startup sandbox packages, with the option to use the money to create a test bed with SK Innovation. In addition, three to five outstanding startups will be chosen and offered a joint business opportunity with one of SK Innovation’s subsidiaries with the possibility of a joint investment and an “impact” fund that serves the purpose of social innovation.
Nam Bo-hyun, CEO of HG Initiative, an impact investment company, Kim Mi-ae, Head of the Office of Startup Jumpstart of the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development, and Jo Hwan-seong, a Team Leader of SK Innovation’s ESG Strategy Office, along with two representatives from startups, CEO of Ecoin Energy Lee In and CEO of Right Route Shin Min-jeong attended the day’s session and discussed the importance of alliance model for the growth of green startups.
“SK Innovation is filling the gaps for startups in areas like investment, technology support, regulatory improvement, and more,” stated Lee In, CEO of Ecoin Energy. “EGG is not a mere social contribution activity of a large corporation but a good example of win-win cooperation between large companies and startups,” Lee added.
CEO of Right Route Shin Min-jeong shared that “Thanks to SK IE Technology, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, we were able to obtain waste battery separator samples, which served to expedite our material development, and found the startup customized training such as IR coaching, and ESG certification very valuable.”
Green startups selected for EGG include Soft Berry, Ecoin Energy, Bumyeong, Evit Company, Griin Agriculture, CNLD, Green Package Solution, JNK, Chemifolio, Right Route, Chungsol CNT, EUCNC, Ecolife Packaging, Air Green, F2B, Eosseomlaeb, The Load, KPMI, CycleOps, Dronic and others.
The panelists that participated in the session on November 11th acknowledged the difficulties of establishing a green ecosystem in the short term, and emphasized their goal of “creating a mutual partnership model to continue expanding eco-friendly impact.”
SK Innovation members watch the AVPN summit online