We recommend Silicon Valley, a seasonal sitcom that depicts in detail the reality of the U.S. IT venture industry, to all Soongsilians as well as to all students interested in startups. Having watched the drama, ST learned about the A to Z of startups, and briefly looked at the SSU’s start-up support. ..................................................................................................................................................Ed.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. What do they have in common? All are world-leading companies, and all are located in ‘Silicon Valley’ located in the southern part of San Francisco, California. ‘Silicon Valley’ is even considered a requirement for beginning an IT startup. Set in this innovative venue, the drama Silicon Valley deals with the procedure of starting a startup, ‘PP (Pied Piper).’ The drama ended successfully after Season 6 in 2019.
PP, a startup in a drama, was established as an accidental development of nerd programmer Richard Hendricks, thus drawing attention from investors. The platform first developed by PP failed because it was inconvenient and difficult for users. Then Richard begins to receive investment from a ‘venture capital’ company called Raviga Capital. VC(Venture Capital) refers to an individual or a group seeking high capital gains after investing in potential venture companies and providing management support and technology development. Also, Apple and Facebook received help from a VC when they were startups. As such, VC is one of the key factors for success in starting a business.
Nevertheless, due to legal issues, the service released to other companies is handed over, and the business may be on the verge of collapse due to different litigation problems. Finally, the business shuts down. The causes of failure vary widely, but why engage in business? Starting a business means gaining numerous benefits from having the ability to respond to various events at the risk of failure. It is clear that running a company is difficult. The government is giving young people opportunities by implementing various support policies for venture companies. Why do the government and universities support startups?
According to Statistics Korea, the start-up rate in Korea is 15.3%. Startups are expected to promote economic growth and expand employment. Therefore, increasing the start-up rate was selected as one of the main tasks of the government to boost national economy. The current government was established in 2017 by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to revitalize venture companies, but the actual start-up rate did not change significantly. According to the Korea Educational Development Institute, the start-up rate of Korean college graduates is about 0.8%, about 10 times less than that of China’s 8.1%. This difference was pointed out as one of the reasons for the shortcomings of universities in supporting this field.
Universities have received various demands from society over the years. They must cultivate not only major knowledge, but also different abilities equally. Is SSU lacking of something in performing its role? SSU was selected by the government as a leading start-up university, and the start-up support group was selected as the best organizer of a fostering project in 2018. Furthermore, SSU is aware of the importance of startups, so it offers lectures and non-academic activities, and provides different infrastructures. As such, SSU is fulfilling its role.
Moreover, SSU included ‘Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action’ as an essential liberal arts subject upon admission in 2019. Through this development, in-depth education on entrepreneurship is provided. It is also creatively conceiving the start-up process and introducing start-up items. Furthermore, they are cultivating the basic ability to commercialize start-up items by conducting team projects through ‘Trello,’ a collaborative tool. Other liberal arts elective subjects are largely supported in five categories. It is divided into introduction to startups, start-up challenge, start-up item discovery, and start-up item search, providing students with various options. As a course benefit, Soongsilians can use the Startup Pump Venture Studio (Entrepreneurship & Small Business Center No. 207) and the conference room. Also, top-performing students are supported by SSU in connection with the startup club. Later, it will provide an opportunity to run a business by receiving prize money and acceleration through a start-up competition. You can access the SSU Startup Support website (startup.ssu.ac.kr) for additional information.
Briefly, the role of universities was examined as the importance of startups began to emerge. Moreover, SSU is aware of the importance of starting a business and is running a curriculum for students. Soongsilians who are interested in running their own companies must take this as an opportunity and step up in society.
Park Hyun-tae (ST Reporter)