Start-ups are rapidly becoming the most popular solution to Korea’s youth unemployment problems. They cater to the ambitions of those wanting to pioneer new ideas and be their own boss. A lot of Dankookians (students of Dankook University) are no exception to this trend and as a result, The Dankook Herald (DKH) decided to tell you about the many helpful programs available to you when launching your own start-up business. There are many benefits to these programs such as monetary investments, practical information and greater insight into product markets.
For new industries, Dankook University’s (DKU) Enterprise Support Foundation hosts several initiatives to help the budding entrepreneur get started. DKU’s development project, supporting new business start-ups, has been buoyed by K-Startup a division of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups for the last 4 years. During this time, DKU nurtured and managed 93 fresh businesses and provided follow-up for 21 supported firms. Moreover, they cultivated startup clubs in DKU with financial support and hosted 397 industry start-up lectures. In 2017 alone, they held 68 lectures with an estimated 13 thousand students attending. Head of the Enterprise Support Foundation, Son Seung-woo, said, "We do our best to support new entrepreneurs and boost entrepreneurship among Dankookians. Also, we try to build local business systems for fresh enterprises."
There were several programs for emerging entrepreneurs that link them with local business development organizations and DKU; one of them is Dankook’s Jipheyon-Jeon Hacker-thon. This is a support program offered in conjunction with the Gyeonggido Business & Science Accelerator (GBSA) program and the Enterprise Support Foundation of DKU. It is an idea competition for Dankookians in the field of marketing, innovation and design, where participants have three days to build and launch a fresh business model for evaluation.
The DKH conducted an interview with Lee So-yeon, Director in the Start-up Support team of GBSA. We learned that Jipheyon-Jeon Hacker-thon represents a cooperative program for sharing ideas for new businesses. GBSA supports budding entrepreneurs create a detailed shape for their business plans and offers workspace for participating teams. Moreover, GBSA acts as a platform for idea providers, evaluates their business plans and helps them improve their ideas with knowledge of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and provides opportunities for many other networking and mentoring programs. “It is difficult to ensure the diverse programs meet the needs of all our participants, but we are always open to their feedback to further develop our programs by cooperating and sharing information,” a director of the team explained.
There is a lot of support for entrepreneurial university students, especially with regards to businesses related to technology and applying for patents. The director of the team emphasized that while few university students have experiences in the business world, the networking and mentoring programs help everyone. He finished our interview offering up this advice, “Do not give up easily when you launch a start-up business. There are a lot of support programs for inexperienced entrepreneurs including young university students. We recommend you use these support programs as much as possible.”
|▲ Dankookians are participating in the program.|
Choi Hyun-jong, a Dankookian, who participated the ‘Startup Garden 2017” for 4 weeks, a special exchange program with Alto University in Finland, learned about the entrepreneurial spirit and start-up world. He applied to take part in the program through the DKU web information system. He said, “It was easy to complete this challenge because I the time available to take on new things.” The program was hosted by the Korean Entrepreneurship Foundation and gathered participants interested in start-up businesses from several universities in South Korea. During this program, students learned about inaugurative business management, intellectual property rights and how to create a business model. Moreover, they conducted team projects in these subjects during the courses.
The Startup Garden 2017 also provided their global network with a platform for a mutual exchange of ideas between international students. This feature helped Mr. Choi tackle his own prejudices on social issues. For instance, City as a Service (CAAS) in Finland was a city planning project that included the whole city, and the services it provides, including welfare, administration and other community services. This was strange concept for Choi and his Korean teammates, but the other teammates from Pakistan, China, and Somalia shared their insights into the plan to improve the standard of living for everyone living in Finland. He stated, “My team created the elderly care services by using their experiences focused on welfare for the aged. Hearing the ideas of others really helped to develop our concepts.”
Mr. Choi had many other experiences with start-up training including the Start-up Club Camp of DKU, Applied Science and New Technology for the Creative (LINC DASAN) and the Start-up Dream Camp hosted by Sung-kyun-kwan University.
There are many practical programs available to help start-up businesses and the budding entrepreneur, but the most important thing is to get access to the information available. Through these educational training programs you can easily gain industry experience and know-how with the help of local governments and universities, where you can network and share diverse ideas. During the interview with DKH, Mr. Choi stated, “There is no door to the main road,” implying that ambitions and challenges are necessary and inevitable with every start-up. Even though reaching the main road requires overcoming a lot of challenges, training, education and information, it is the emerging entrepreneurs chance to step up and show the world what they are made of.