Step 1: Motivation & Startup Training
Awaken dormant curiosity.
π-Ville is KU’s signature place that motivates students to do whatever they want and explore possibilities through their curiosity. Students are encouraged to be whimsical through π-Ville’s free markets and periodic events, thus discovering ideas. While the site is designed to motivate students to explore and chart a new course of their own, Korea University also frequently arranges lectures on startups for students.
The Campus CEO by the Crimson Business Innovation Center, the Entrepreneurship Academy by the KUBS Startup Institute, and the Practical Training on Startups by the Campus Town Support Center are among the main training programs related with startup incubation. Last May, the Crimson Business Innovation Center affiliated with the Korea University Research and Business Foundation was reorganized into the Crimson Business Innovation Center, affiliated with the office of Executive Vice President for Research, thus supervising the school’s startup support institutions.
[KU Achievements of Student Startups & Technology Commercialization]
Step 2: Incubating & Space Support
Leverage the best environment and infrastructure of Korea University.
The Startup Station at the KUBS Startup Institute run by the Korea University Business School is dubbed a “platform of entrepreneurship and innovation.” The site is home to startups with various backgrounds that translate their ideas into innovative solutions through sharing and collaboration. The space consists of the lljin Center for Startup Incubation and Seung Myung-Ho Center for Entrepreneurship Education. The latter is a hub of incubating and networking of startups and the former is to provide convergent startup training programs.
Meanwhile, the Campus Town program, a joint program between Korea University and Seongbuk-gu, is emerging as a new axis of student startups.
The KU-Anam Campus Town Support Program, incepted in 2016, aims to support youth to launch a startup through connecting them with community resources. Under the program, five Smart Startup Studios opened in the vicinity of Korea University, and over 10 teams, which won the first and second KU-Anam Startup Competitions hosted by the Anam Campus Town Support Center, have rented an office. These teams receive a grant of at least KRW 3 million, basic office appliances, and one-year practical training free of charge to launch their business.
Step 3: Prototype Production
Prove the possibility with a complete working mock-up.
The KU Makerspace located in the Innovation Building and the X-Garage in the International Studies Hall are open to everyone who wants to produce a prototype based on ideas, discover problems and seek solutions. The X-Garage, which is under construction, will open in December. As the site is equipped with a 3D printer, a 3D scanner to verify the exterior of precision parts, and a reinforced fiber printer, users can produce a working mock-up (a fully functioning prototype with PCBs mounted like the actual product). These two spaces allow users to verify their ideas and turn them into physical products.
Step 4: Mentoring and Linking with Investors
Expand into a successful network.
Korea University provides various training programs, such as brown bag meetings and startup recruitment fairs, for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members, to raise their awareness of available startup support programs and encourage them to experience the process of starting a business.
The Startup Station at the lljin Center for Startup Incubation selects teams to move in through the biannual Startup Express, and the admitted teams can receive support and consulting from the mentor group consisting of professors of the KU Business School, business founders, and industrial experts. In addition, on CHOO CHOO Day, they introduce their startup model to attract investors and seek opportunities to make inroads into overseas markets. Moreover, Korea University hosts various events, such as Startup Curriculum Competition, π-Ville Project and Campus Town Startup Competition, to provide opportunities of mentoring and incubating startups.
Step 5: Specialization and Differentiation
Explore a new area for startups.
Korea University has recently established a lawyer startup support center, the first in Korea. Last October, the School of Law of Korea University opened the Center for Law & Creativity (CLC), a startup incubation platform for lawyers, near Seocho Judicial Town, to foster professional lawyers and suggest an educational model for law schools. The site will lend office space for free to eight teams, including the two that have already moved into the center. They will also receive consulting from various cooperative institutions and the Convergence Advisory Council.
KU-MAGIC, which aims to revolutionize the biomedical industry and create jobs through convergence R&D, provides various programs to support youth startups. Located in Jeongreung, Seongbuk-gu, the institute is home to businesses related with futuristic medical devices, tailored medical services and smart-aging.
Grace Hansen said, “Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” If you are wondering how to take the first step forward, just take a good stride now, following the Startup Roadmap that Korea University outlines.