In this era of underemployment, a youth start-up can be a breakthrough. However, starting a business is more difficult than getting a job. ST interviewed three start-up teams that won in the annual start-up competition of SSU..........................................................Ed.
Youth start-ups were by-products of youth unemployment. The government has been actively supporting start-ups with the aim of creating jobs through the spirit of challenge, will, and youthfulness. SSU has also steadily hosted festivals that are related to start-ups, including the annual start-up competition at the Entrepreneurship & Small Business. There were 2020 Winner Teams in order from the 1st place: Dotoribox, Gorani & Bab Games, and Apex. Let’s interview each of the team leaders and feel the passion to start a business.
"There are already ads outside of taxis, but there are few ads inside. We want to be a company that preoccupies the space inside the vehicle. I think the first step is to deliver samples from inside the taxi."
ST: As far as I know, you have designed a marketing platform that allows passengers in taxis to try corporate samples. I would like to know more about the item, and the motivation behind the start-up.
Dotoribox: We were paying attention to small and medium-sized venture companies, influenced by our major, the Entrepreneurship & Small Business, so we wanted to overcome the lack of funding, manpower, and brand power in making high-quality products with our business item.
ST: You applied for a patent, and began a trial run with the drivers. What were the difficulties you had in preparing for the competition, or in the process?
Dotoribox: We didn’t have a team developer so we have to create a web page without coding. In the process, we turned the completed home page over and over again. It was a big challenge for us, students, to officially contact enterprises. After getting advice from several mentors, we could receive a total of 900 samples from five companies for second trial runs.
ST: When will Dotoribox be able to formally engage passengers in the future?
Dotoribox: The goal is to launch it in the first half of 2021. Then, I want to test it seriously, and work with ride-hailing services, such as Kakao T and T-Map Taxi.
Gorani & Bab Games
"Board games have low entry barriers because the genre does not require coding. Since we are lucky to have opportunities to publish with companies, I hope many people will try to start playing a board game."
ST: As far as I know, you have developed an educational board game. I would like to know more about the item and the motivation behind the start-up.
Gorani & Bab Games: Originally, I wanted to start a business with contents, so I tried various things, such as writing and video editing, and I got together with people who enjoyed playing games and started my own board game, ‘The Way to Myeongnyang’.
ST: You’ve partnered with a number of companies to produce high-quality prototypes. What challenges did you face in the process or in preparing for the competition?
Gorani & Bab Games: When we first started in no base, we added many elements to the game, and the rules were complicated. People were having a hard time in the test play process. Realistic limitations, funding issues, and modifying the rules were the hardest to deal with. It was not easy to persuade professors through board games that they knew were difficult if they played it in person.
ST:When will we be able to see ‘The Way to Myeongnyang’ in the future?
Gorani & Bab Games:The goal is to launch the crowdfunding platform, Tumblbug, in January next year, so if you start with the project, you’ll probably get it the following month.
ST: As far as I know, you have developed a smart backpack for waist health. I would like to know more about the item, and your team’s motivation behind the start-up.
Apex: I wanted to develop a product for my sister and other people around me suffering from spinal cord diseases. It is based on a paper that the weight inside the bag is unbalanced, and the load on the shoulder is different, which can lead to spine damage.
ST: You said you were in the process of patent application as well as developing more bags, what did you find difficult while preparing for the contest or during this process?
Apex: I was a mechanical engineering student, so I had skills, but I had a hard time because I didn’t have coding skills and the knowledge on start-ups. Later, I was able to overcome these difficulties by recruiting a rightminded pinwheel club member who had the talent to do what I needed.
ST: When will Apex’s bags be officially available to consumers in the future?
Apex: The prototype is complete, but there’s a long way to go. To get in touch with people with scoliosis quickly, we will try to secure more funds through other contests, and collect additional consumer data in 2021.
Lee Hae-been (News Editor)