Start-ups are no longer special in a society that suffers from a shortage of jobs. Particularly, college students are relatively less likely to fail because they can receive various support for start-ups, and thus more and more students are trying to start a business. Haven't you ever wanted to start up a company in your name? Would you like to make your own abstract ideas into something with market value? Various start-up programs for first-time start-up founders are under way at Gachon University's start-up support team. Let's answer some questions about the start-up support team with Park Bang-joo, the director of start-up support team.
1. Please introduce yourself.
I worked in the science section of the JoongAng Ilbo for 25 years. I met several tech founders and was in charge of science technology policies, etc. And I became an electronic engineering professor and, currently, hold the post of director of start-up support team. I also started a company called Noa Tech for people in need of electrical hand prostheses.
2. How did you set up the Start-up support team?
The start-up support team has a start-up education center, a business incubation center, and the Start-up College Project, which is a government project. A contract for the Start-up College Project was won with the active support of President Lee Gil-yeo. This project enables the school to provide students and professors with plenty of support related to start-ups. Start-up College is the only newly selected university in the Gyeonggi and Incheon region, and it also contributes greatly to improving our school's image.
3. Which start-up programs are you proud of?
First, we have an elective or liberal arts course which is customized for students who want to start a business. We also provide good infrastructure and conditions for them by providing sufficient space and facilities such as a Start-up Factory and a 3D printer. I think it is also good that we provide up to 5 million won a year to the best start-up clubs.
4. Do you have some memorable students or episodes while working as the head of the start-up support team?
Lee Hak-kyung, the head of ‘Kong Tech’, is the most memorable. He is one of the most successful founding members of Gachon University, who won awards at various competitions and achieved good results. ‘Kong Tech’ is a company that develops beacons and supplies applied software. He recruited several graduates from the department of Electronic Engineering. I know he is making 3 billion won in annual sales in Pangyo these days, and I can't help but feel proud of his achievement.
5. What was the most impressive idea among the students' start-up ideas?
Once I supported Jeong Su-yeon who proposed a system that provides online issuance of various certificates, using a blockchain that cannot be forged online. It is also memorable that a female college student planned an umbrella for a luxury bag that can be used to protect it on rainy days. Finally, it is also impressive that a woman who lost both sons developed a device to prevent missing children. This is a case of coming up with a start-up idea and connecting it with professionals.
6. Many people feel lost while starting up a business. What do you think should be the first step a when founding a start-up?
The first step is making up your mind to start up a business. It means that you should make some efforts to prepare three items first: founder, capital, and start-up items. Also, only one out of dozens of ideas will remain after you consider all the risk factors and possibilities. In addition, I think forming a start-up team is nice. You can make full use of the state support funds when you start-up, so let's try to make the most of it rather than personal capital. Even if the first start-up fails, you will not suffer a heavy blow.
7. If you were given the opportunity to start a business, what kind of start-up would you like to make?
Most successful start-up founders are people with experience in the field. Half of all start-up founders often start their own businesses after having worked for related companies. These people are much more likely to succeed when starting a business. Therefore, if I start a business, I will start a business related to electronic engineering which is my major, or journalism because I have been there for 25 years.
8. What do you think is a mental attitude that is essential for a person who wants to build a start-up?
I think they need to build up an entrepreneurial spirit. In other words, they need a sense of community that helps people to live together. Also, I think it's very important to try to benefit others as well as me without being a corrupt dealer exploiting other people’s labor.
9. Please give a word to the dreamers of starting a business who might be worried about their unstable future.
I want to say, “Get the basics first and then jump to the start-up front”. I think it is crucial to keep basic manners and business ethics with a mind to become a world-class expert in the field. Also, you need to think about what you can do to beat others, such as the Blue Ocean strategy to create a new, unknown and uncompetitive market. To be wandering is to have not yet properly grasped the coordinates. Try to start-up business when prepared with the three elements of founder, capital and start-up items.
Park Bang-joo said, he is working, hoping that start-up support team can help students in their overall lives. He also said he wants us to be aware that start-up lectures or programs is not helpful for only students who want to start their own businesses right away. In other words, when life changes for some reasons, it is greatly important to understand that being employed is not the only career, but a start-up is another way of making a career as well. I hope this interview will serve as the opportunity to look into the start-up support team at university that we haven’t known much about, and many students will visit the founding support team when they need help in starting a business.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >