What is a foundation and what is a start-up? Some people might find the terms so difficult to understand. But a foundation is around us in our daily lives. ST introduces the ways SSU can help you establish a youth start-up as well as other information related with starting a foundation. ㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍ Ed
Youth Start-up, Closer than You Think
Most people think of a foundation at least once in their lives. A “foundation” could be considered bombastic. But a foundation starts with small ideas, like helping others selflessly and improving the comfort levels of other people. In short, we all have the potential to set up a foundation. These days, many young people realize their potential. Thus, there is an increasing trend in Youth Start-ups. In the age of various emerging media, the meaning of “foundation” is changing. It is not only about launching an organization, but also about using an application and acting as a one-person media.
Youth Start-up, What Can I Do?
Although there are an increasing number of youth start-ups offering various contents, many are afraid of trying foundations. They have three major reasons. First, raising funds is too difficult. Securing funds is basic in business, but people find it difficult to collect money on their own. Second, a foundation lessens time for studying. If they start a business, they have the responsibility to keep the business running, consuming time away from studying. Lastly, many are afraid of failure. Since money and time are invested in business, there is a risk of failure. So, to solve these types of problems and to rally around their ambitious challenge, Korea Institute of Start-up & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED) and the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Startups (SMEs) are lending support. Through the graduate and enrolled students’ foundation, ST wants students to be confident in forming a Youth Start-up.
Together, Sharing the Travel – Travel Holic
Jo Jun-ki (Global Commerce, 08), the representative of Travel Holic, is a successful founder of a start-up, which offers travel contents to SNS users. What makes it different from other travel pages is its ability to elicit emotion. They deliver not just “information,” but also fun, sad and touching emotion. Likewise, for those who cannot go abroad because of their livelihood, they offer contents that are more user-friendly in daily life. Other than just offering a simple idea, they provide diverse contents beyond traveling.
“Travel Holic” offers a wide range of travel contents through many channels.
Mainly, the patrons of Travel Holic are almost in their 20s. But Travel Holic is planning to create contents for people in their 40s and 50s, considering that its young audience will be 40s and 50s someday. Rather than showing travel options for people in their 40s and 50s, it will make contents about traveling with family and traveling with co-workers. Also, the industry related to travel is too small nowadays, so they must provide contents on interior props, by considering the connection between online and offline needs to broaden the travel industry further.
Consider Everyone's Time, Take-it
ST: Introduce yourself.
A: I am Jun Eui-chan (Computer Science, 17), a representative of WHITE BLOCK, which operates the Take-it service.
ST: Please introduce the Take-it service. How did you go about developing Take-it?
A: Take-it is an application that can take orders and receive payments for many take-out stores through a smartphone. There are too many people, but the number of stores is limited around the university. Still, the waiting time for ordering coffee is too long during specific time zones, especially around the lunch hour and break times. But with Take-it, you don’t have to wait for a long line.
ST: How long has Take-it been operating? And what is the difference between the initial stages of Take-it and the following phases of its development?
A: I have started creating Take-it in June 2017. But launching it was too difficult, so, finally, I gave up for a while. Through the hard times, I have gone back to it last winter, and started recruiting again. To answer the second question, in 2017 and 2018, Take-it failed to launch and operate well. So, we started the beta test inside the school. But franchised coffee Take-out store’s margin is more than the stores combined in the school. And very few people used Take-it, so making money out of it was difficult. Now, there are many stores that offer the Take-it service.
ST: How do you establish an alliance with different stores? Are there people who refuse to offer your service? If so, what is the reason?
A: Sales teamwork. We tell store owners to experience comfort and increase profit by using the Take-it service. Once the owners agree, we can install the program in their tablet computers and machines. There are owners who think Take-it is not user-friendly. Sometimes, they refuse our offer.
ST: When do you feel fulfilled while operating the business?
A: There are three key moments: first, when I hear the sound of “Take-it” in stores in the morning. Second, I feel accomplished when I see students using the service. And third, when I receive messages of appreciation on the Take-it service.
ST: Please give advice to students who are considering launching a Youth Start-up!
A: To be realistic, please continue to consider many options. As the company’s representative, there are many difficulties that must be overcome. Spending your “golden age (20s)” in business is not easy. So, if you want to start a business, please plan accordingly.
ST: What are the difficulties of the Youth Start-up?
A: Since Take-it is an IT service, many of its tasks are related to people. Therefore, seeing people leave is difficult. Usually, people quit when they feel their jobs are hard. They interpret it as further studies are needed. There are three main reasons why people resign: Pay is bad; there is nothing new to learn in the company; and the manager is no better than I am.
ST: What is your major task as company representative?
A: There are two tasks. First, I take care of the funding. Second, I fill in the things that team members need.
Start-up Club and Innovation Hall
ST: Please introduce yourself. And what is the office in Innovation Hall for?
Park Se-jin: I’m Park Se-jin (Business Administration, 18). Now, I have an office in Innovation Hall, and I work for an application service that helps people find great photo spots. Many people are happy to work together.
ST: Please introduce the application.
Park: Let me explain the reason for creating the application. When I saw pretty photos on Instagram, and tried to capture the same photos in the same place, I sometimes failed. So, I have found out that finding the spot in advance is necessary. This application is not completed yet, but I registered it on
ST: What is the extent of the school’s support prior to starting a business?
Park: School support came in the form of three million dollars, and we could borrow office space until next year. We are working on fine-tuning the application. Initial support started with school, but we increased funding through many competitions and accelerations.
ST: There will be many service and product announcements about start-ups, so please advise Soongsilians and new students who are having trouble making announcements.
Park: To be honest, it depends on your level of understanding to be good at presenting. In my experience, there are many presentations in front of representatives of investment companies, and there are many questions that can hurt people's feelings, such as “Do you think it’s going to happen?” and “Do people use it a lot?” When we give a presentation in front of them, I think we can do better when we give a presentation with confidence and understanding.
ST: Lastly, what do you think about the college students’ start-up activities?
Park: Since we are college students, there is less risk on failing to start a business, and there’s plenty of support from schools, businesses, and government agencies, so we can start a business even though we don’t have enough money. Even if you fail in your start-up, you can still learn a lot from the process. In business schools, there are some things that you learn outside of the curriculum in preparation for taking on marketing. In the case of IT universities, even if they lack the coding ability, they will become more skilled at creating apps. I think now is the perfect time to start a business these days.
Supporting Start-ups of Government Agencies
First, it is a mentoring project supported by the Ministry of Small and Medium Business. The mentoring project is a system that supports the commercialization of the preliminary founder’s ideas and deals with the difficulties of the start�up performance process through expert mentoring to
prospective start-ups. It is said that applications are available 24/7 throughout the year. The Mentoring Day will carry out a maximum of three 1:1, customized field mentoring session with a dedicated mentor who has completed the final match. It also runs camp-style education programs to establish business models and shape ideas.
The second one involves the education of actual start�ups. The actual start-up education is to lay the foundation for successful start-ups through step-by-step processes, such as verifying ideas and establishing business models for about five months to prospective start-ups that are curious. about actual start-ups. The steps in education are as follows.
Step 1 is the development of ideas. The training period is about two months, and the contents of the training are available both online and offline to enhance the capabilities of prospective start-ups.
Step 2 is the establishment of a business model. The training period is two weeks, and the business model is specified by identifying problems and finding solutions.
Step 3 is Lean Startup.* The training period is about three months, and the training content includes supporting the production of minimum requirement products and the verification of business models.
Lean startup*: Quickly manufacture ideas as minimum requirements to reduce failure, disclose them to see how the market responds, and then reflect them in improving the next product.
SSU Start-up Support Group
The Start-up Support Group, located in Venture Small and Medium Business Center No. 409-1, is providing support for students who are passionate and interested in starting a business. Specifically, the followings will explain the kind of support available and the qualifications Soongsilians must possess.
# Start-up Village Networking Workshop
By holding a joint camp for information exchange and capacity enhancement among start-up groups, which are supported by the host universities of the early start-up package in Seoul, it is possible to share the best support system for start-up groups by school, and to collaborate through the exchange of start-up items among start-up groups.
#2019 SSU Start-up Club Promotion Program
The program, which ran from May 14 to 28, was designed to select a start-up club with feasible ideas to support commercialization for the success of college start-ups. It was setting aside three million won for item development with additional benefits, start-up spaces, and investment link programs at Soongsil University.
[Institutional Support of Soongsil University]
#An Alternative Credit to Starting a Business
It is seen as a system that accepts both start-ups and credits. Students who want to earn alternative credits for starting a business must take at least three credits in the subject related to starting a business, and participate actively in a club that has been approved for starting a business. Or you should be the CEO of a company that has completed six or more credits in the subject of starting a business.
# Leave of Absence from the School for Start-ups
If it is difficult to start a business and study at the same time, it is possible to take a leave of absence on the grounds of starting a business. It allows additional leaves of absence from a regular school within two years. Applicants must be in the second year or higher, and must complete at least six credits in the subject of starting a business. And one should be eligible as a CEO of a start-up company, while the start-up industry should be in a field that is related to its own department.
SSU Start-up Support Group Supporters, SSU: STAR
ST: Soongsilians may know about the Start-up Support Group, but I think Soongsilians may not know exactly what the Start-up Support Group is doing. Tell me more about the role of the Start-up Support Group.
Ae Je-yeon: The SSU Start-up Support Group is not the only one supporting Soongsilians, but is also the founding ecosystem and hub of southern Seoul. Its main tasks include lending character to start-up education, revitalizing the start-up club, reinvigorating the youth start-up and the regional base, promoting investment links, and activating the technology start-up.
ST: Do you feel that it is difficult for a regular student to start a business, and focus on his or her studies?
Ae: If you study hard in the library until 10 P.M. every day, it will be difficult for you to start a business and study at the same time. If so, prepare to start a business diligently during the vacation period, and not during the exam period, and that will not disturb your schoolwork. And since the same team members are mostly college students, they are very considerate to each other during the exam period. Thus, you can focus on your exams while you're starting a business.
ST: Are there any alternatives for students who want to study and start a business at the same time?
Ae: The alternative to running out of time is to manage it well. In my case, I saved time commuting to school. Like studying for the College Scholastic Ability Test, I make plans and try to work efficiently. And I study in school until 10 P.M. on weekdays, or come to school on weekends unless there are
ST: We want to know what made you interested in starting a business.
Ae: I did a blockchain study in Computer Science for six months, and then I pursued a project. As I was working on the program, I thought I could commercialize it, so I started to prepare for a start-up.
ST: Lastly, can you tell us about the supporters of SSU:STAR?
Ae: The 3rd SSU:STAR is active from May 20th to December 31st. However, Soongsilians who have been enrolled for more than four years cannot apply. The contents of the activity include creating news cards after covering start�up companies and clubs, such as start-up groups and tenant companies, or creating videos or images to promote start-up programs and start-up subjects. SSU:STAR’s support includes activity scholarships based on the amount of activity and networking support, priority in participating in various start�up events, start-up information, and mentoring support.
Oh Jun-taek (ST Reporter)
Park Yoo-bin (ST Reporter)