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The 1st Global Entrepreneurship Summer Camp bridges KAIST and Silicon Valley, US
Twenty KAIST students gave a go at selling their business ideas to investors at Silicon Valley on the “Pitch Day” at 2022 Global Entrepreneurship Summer Camp. From Tuesday, June 21 to Monday, July 4, 2022, KAIST held the first Global Entrepreneurship Summer Camp (GESC). The 2022 GESC, which was organized in collaboration with Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), KOTRA Silicon Valley IT Center, and KAIST Alumni at Silicon Valley, was a pilot program that offered opportunities of experiencing and learning about the cases of startup companies in Silicon Valley and a chance to expand businesses to Silicon Valley through networking. Twenty KAIST students, including pre-startup entrepreneurs and students interested in global entrepreneurship with less than one year of business experience were selected. The first week of the program was organized by Startup KAIST while the second week program was organized by the Center for Global Strategies and Planning (GSP) at KAIST in collaboration with the Stanford Technology Venture Program (STVP), KAIST Alumni at Silicon Valley, and KOTRA at Silicon Valley. Dr. Mo-Yun Lei Fong, the Executive Director of STVP, said, “The program offered an opportunity for us to realize our vision of empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to become global citizens who create and scale responsible innovation. By collaborating with KAIST and offering entrepreneurial insights to Korean students, we are able to have a positive impact on a global scale.” Mo added, “The program also enabled STVP to build bridges, learn from the students, and refine our culturally relevant curriculum by understanding Korean culture and ideas.” On the “Pitch Day” on July 1, following a special talk by Dr. Chong-Moon Lee, the Chairman of AmBex Venture Partners, the students presented their team business ideas such as an AI-assisted, noise-canceling pillow devised for better sleep, a metaverse dating application, an XR virtual conferencing system, and an AI language tutoring application to the entice global investors’ curiosity. The invited investors, majorly based in Silicon Valley, commented that all the presentation was very exciting, and the level of pitches was beyond the expectation considering that the students have given only two weeks. Ms. Seunghee Lee of the team “Bored KAIST Yacht Club”, which was awarded the first prize, explained, “our item, called ‘Meta-Everland’, is a service that offers real-time dating experiences similar to off-line dates. The GESC taught me that anybody can launch a startup as long as they are willing. Developing a business model from ideation and taking it to the actual pitching was challenging, but it was a very thrilling experience at the same time.” Lee added, “Most importantly, over the course of the program and the final pitch, I found out that an interesting idea can attract investors interest even at a very early stage of the launching.” Mr. Byunghoon Hwang, a student who attended the program said, “Having learned the thoughts and attitudes the people at the front line of Silicon Valley, my views on career and launching of a start-up have been expanded a lot.” Ms. Marina Mondragon, another attendee at the program, also said that the program was very meaningful because she was able to learn the difference between the ecosystem for the new start-up businesses at Korea and at Silicon Valley through her talks with the CEOs at Silicon Valley. The program was co-organized by the Center for Global Strategies and Planning at KAIST International Office and Startup of KAIST. Dr. Man-Sung Yim, the Associate Vice President for KAIST International Office, who guided students in Silicon Valley, said, “I believe the GESC program broadened the views and entrepreneurial mindset of students. After joining this program, students stepped forward to become a founder of startups.” In addition, Dr. Young-Tae Kim, the Associate Vice President of the Institute for Startup KAIST, addressed “Startup KAIST will support business items founded via the program through various other programs in order to enhance their competitiveness in the global market.” The GSP and Startup KAIST will continuously revamp the program by selecting distinguished fellows to join the program and coming up with innovative startup items. Profile: Sooa Lee, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor email@example.com Center for Global Strategies and Planning Office of Global Initiatives KAIST International Office https://io.kaist.ac.kr Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)Daejeon, Republic of Korea
KAIST Entrepreneurial Partnership to Accelerate Startups and Venture Ecosystem
KAIST will launch the KAIST Entrepreneurial Partnership (KEP) program, which connects faculty members who own technology with those who want to launch startup. The program encourages open innovation startups using strategies tailored to market-client demand requirements. This is also one of efforts to help realize ‘one startup per lab,’ initiated by President Kwang Hyung Lee’s new innovation strategy. KEP also aims to introduce the best technologies developing at KAIST to startups and to raise the success rate of technology commercialization. The program will match KAIST faculty and student entrepreneur candidates with parties enrolled in the new Entrepreneur in Residence and Entrepreneurial Partner programs. Each team will be given a six-month test period with funding support. KAIST will invite entrepreneurial experts from both technology and management fields to support the program participants. Around 30 experts with experience in developing new businesses, startups, and investments in large corporations or venture companies will be recruited as entrepreneurial partners. They will offer support for research and business development (R&BD), technology marketing, attracting venture investment from corporations, mergers and acquisitions, and business openings. A survey showed that KAIST members who are interested in starting a business are experiencing difficulties finding an entrepreneurial expert (72.2%), with the complicated startup approval procedures (33.3%), and their lack of knowledge on entrepreneurship and funding (27.8%). The KEP program hopes to encourage KAIST faculty members and students who have well-developed business ideas and the appropriate technology but lack the capabilities to realize and develop them into a business. Associate Vice President of Startups Young-Tae Kim said, “We will develop KEP into KAIST’s distinct entrepreneurial support system and produce exemplary outcomes of faculty and student startups. We will spread the startup DNA and lead the building of a virtuous cycle between entrepreneurship and the venture ecosystem.”
"It’s a Blessing": Lawyer Couple Donates 82 Acres of Land
Korea Abraham Lincoln Society Founder Kwak Sung-hyun and International IP Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (IIPAC) Chairman Kim Cheol-ho have committed to donate a large tract of land to KAIST during a ceremony on July 3. The couple will donate about 82 acres of land located in Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province. The value of the property is estimated at over 10 billion won. Kim, a lawyer who taught at the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy from 2009 to 2014, said, “It is a real blessing to make a gift to KAIST." The property is a part of family inheritance that has been passed down for generations. “We’ve thought about the right way to give back to society from a long-term perspective. KAIST will be the best place to honor my father’s generosity and spirit to help young students,” Kwak said at the ceremony. Kwak’s late father who was also a lawyer was a big landowner in Seongnam City back in the 1970s. But he also had to buy nearby parcels of land because he could not refuse the local farmers asking him to buy their land when they urgently needed to sell their property to pay their children’s college tuition fees. So, he bought the land, paying more than double the asking price. The couple finalized their donation plan after having a meeting with President Sung-Chul Shin earlier this year. President Shin personally guided them on a campus tour and presented his vision to make KAIST a world-class university. “We were quite moved by President Shin and the faculty members’ passion and hard work. And we really wanted to help KAIST be the real top university in the world by educating young talents needed for the new era,” Kim said. President Shin said the university will use the land to establish a new campus for entrepreneurship that combines education, research, and technology commercialization so that it can become an advance base in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.
Center for Industrial Future Strategy Takes Off at KAIST
JETS Conference 2017
KAIST and four science and technology research universities in Korea co-hosted a technology start-up fair, the 2017 JETS (Job, Exhibition, Tech Forum, and Startup) Conference January 19 ~20 in the Ryu Geun-chul Sports Complex at KAIST. Korea’s major science and technology research universities, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech), and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), held the event in a collaborative effort to educate, inspire, and connect young entrepreneurs, especially those who will launch technology start-ups. The conference brought entrepreneurs and innovators together who seek ways of working with and supporting start-ups and for their sustainable growth. It also drew aspiring young students and researchers from universities and the government-funded research institutions who are in the process of commercializing their technology. Students from each university’s industry-academia cooperation program who incubated their technology and ideas were key contributors. At the Tech Forum, entrepreneurship and technology consultation specialists including Joe Jasin, managing director at DNA Investment Partners in the US, the founder of Cyworld Dong-Hyung Lee, and Professor Hawoong Jeong, a complex bio-network specialist from the Department of Physics of KAIST lectured on the ecosystem of start-ups and its trends and development. The Dean of University-Industry Cooperation at KAIST Joongmyeon Bae said, "We organized this event in collaboration with four major research universities to further encourage technology start-ups from young students and help their ideas and technology bear fruit. We will continue to strive to create an ecosystem of start-ups which works efficiently.” (Above photo: Founder of the Cyworld, Dong-Hyung Lee gives a lecture at the Tech Forum. Below photo: Students visit exhibition booth of each participating institution.)
KAIST Ph.D. Candidate Wins the Next Generation of Engineers Award
Joo-Sung Kim, a doctoral student at the EEWS (Environment, Energy, Water and Sustainability) Graduate School won the inaugural Next Generation of Engineers Award in Leadership on December 14, 2016. The National Academy of Engineering of Korea hosts this award to support creative and ambitious students who have the potential to become leaders in engineering and who will serve as role models for future Korean engineers. Based on the recommendations of university professors in engineering and members of the academy, seven students are selected for the award in the categories of leadership and entrepreneurship. With his research focus on the development of high-performance, next-generation secondary cells for wearable devices such as smart watches, health bands, and smart eyewear, Joo-Sung created a startup, Lithium-ion Battery Energy Science and Technology (LiBEST), Inc. He plans to base his company at the Office of University and Industry Cooperation, KAIST, where he can receive assistance for launching the mass-production system for his technology. His adviser, Professor Jang-Wook Choi of the EEWS Graduate School, noted, “Joo-Sung has been a great student who has a strong sense of curiosity and perseverance. The award is the by-product of his hard work.” “I have always enjoyed my work and study as a researcher, but eventually would like to expand my career into business based on the results of my research. It would be wonderful if I could become a businessman like Elon Musk, Masayoshi Son, or Ma Yun and create a role model for aspiring engineers in Korea by combining science and technology with business demand to create social values that benefit many people,” Joo-Young said.
KAIST, NTU, and Technion Collaborate for Research in Emerging Fields
KAIST, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore, and Technion of Israel signed an agreement on April 11, 2016 in Seoul to create a five-year joint research program for some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial areas: robotics, medical technologies, satellites, materials science and engineering, and entrepreneurship. Under the agreement, the universities will also offer dual degree opportunities, exchange visits, and internships. In the picture from the left, Bertil Andersson of NTU, Sung-Mo Kang of KAIST, and Peretz Lavie of Technion hold the signed memorandum of understanding.
KAIST Wins the Korea Donation for Education Awards 2015
KAIST received the grand prize for the university section at the Korea Donation for Education Awards 2015. The award ceremony took place at Seoul Plaza Hotel on December 15, 2015. The Ministry of Education created the award in 2012 to raise awareness about the need for charitable donations for education and to encourage the public’s participation in such endeavors. Recipients have included private companies, public institutions, non-profit organizations, universities, and individuals who have made notable contributions to education, for example, by offering educational programs or fundraising for such programs throughout a year. Many organizations within KAIST, including the KAIST Center of Donation for Education, the Midam Scholarship Committee, the Donation for Software Education Group, the Chalk Academy, KAIST Student Volunteers, and K-LET, have been collectively recognized for their efforts to develop educational materials and managing academic camps and programs. In addition to the grand prize which KAIST won, the Ministry of Education gave Neung-In Jang, a student pursuing a social entrepreneurship MBA at KAIST, an award for his efforts to provide quality education to teenagers by establishing the Midam Scholarship Committee in 2009. The Scholarship aims to revitalize the culture of donation for education by offering free math and science classes to high school students who are less privileged and by inspiring other universities in Korea to follow suit the committee’s volunteering activities.
KAIST and Four Science and Technology Universities Host a Start-up Competition
KAIST and four other science and technology universities, such as Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), hosted a startup competition on November 27, 2015 at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. Approximately 150 participants including students from the five universities, "angel" investors, and entrepreneurs attended the competition. The competition was held to promote startups that are based on research achievements in science and technology and to foster entrepreneurs with great potential. Two hundred and sixty applicants from 81 teams competed this year. Only ten teams made it to the finals. KAIST students presented two business plans: an experience-centered education platform and mobile taxi-pooling service. Students from other universities presented a brain-stimulating simulation software (GIST), handy smart health trainer (GIST), real-time reporting system for luggage (DGIST), a flower delivery system (UNIST), surveillance and alarm system for stock-related events via machinery studies (UNIST), augmented emotion toys using augmented reality (POSTECH), and a nasal spray for fine dust prevention (POSTECH). KAIST also displayed an exhibition of “wearable haptic device for multimedia contents” and “next generation recommendation service platform based on one-on-one matching system with high expandability and improved user experience system.” The winning team received an award from the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea, as well as an opportunity to participate in overseas startup programs over the course of ten days. Joongmyeon Bae, Director of the KAIST Industry and University Cooperation, who organized the contest, said, “The alumni of Stanford University (USA) has annually created over 5.4 million jobs through startup activities. Likewise, we hope that our event will contribute to job creation by fostering innovative entrepreneurs.”
President Steve Kang of KAIST Receives the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association
The Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA), a non-profit Korean professional organization based in the United States with over 6,000 registered members, bestowed upon President Steve Kang of KAIST the 2015 Outstanding Contribution Award. The award is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to the development of KSEA. The award ceremony took place during the 2015 US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (UKC), which was held on July 30, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The UKC is the flagship conference of KSEA, which takes place every year, and covers science, engineering, technology, industry, entrepreneurship, and leadership. It attracts more than 1,200 participants from the US and Korea. The UKC 2015 was held on July 29-August 1, 2015. President Kang has participated in UKC conferences over the past few years as a plenary speaker, addressing major issues in science and technology for both nations, and provided generous support for the activities of UKC and KSEA. He also promoted discussions and exchanges of professional knowledge in his field, microelectronics, by organizing fora and symposia. He addressed the UKC 2015 as a plenary speaker with a speech entitled “Pursuing Excellence with a Servant’s Heart.” President Kang said that good leadership should bring out synergistic contributions from all constituents and achieve excellence under all circumstances. He mentioned one example of good leadership, known as humble leadership, and explained how such leadership played an important role in the development of scientific breakthroughs, such as the world’s premier high-end microprocessor chip sets first produced by his team under extremely high pressure.
KAIST Startups Annually Engage 33,000 People, and Their Sales Total Nearly 10 Billion Dollars
According to a recent study, KAIST startups annually engage 33,000 people, and their sales total nearly 10 billion US dollars. Also amongst 1,245 companies, 50 were listed in stock markets including KOSDAQ and KONEX. President Kang of KAIST commissioned an evaluation of KAIST startups last year. The report consisted of six chapters: current status of entrepreneurs and companies, cross analysis based on individuals’ background and academic degree, annual performance analysis, and current status of startup assistance. The report categorized the startups with respect to the founders’ background. Of 1,245 companies, KAIST alumni founded 929 (74.6%) of the companies under study: 191 (15.3%) were located within the KAIST campuses, 91 (7.3%) were founded by enrolled students, and 74 (2.7%) by professors. The startup founders had different levels of education: 515 (41.4%) founders had master’s degree, 443 (35.6%) Ph.D. degree, and only 213 (17.1%) had only bachelor’s degree as the highest level of education attained. The reason behind the majority of founders having a master’s degree or higher degree is that many people established a startup after obtaining specialized knowledge and skills. Focusing on the founders’ college majors, 719 (70.6%) founders were from the engineering department, 111 (10.9%) from the business administration department, 103 (10.1%) from the natural science department, and 86 (8.4%) from other departments. Looking at the companies' locations, 462 (37.5%) were placed in Seoul, 355 (28.8%) in Daejeon, and 273 (22.2%) in Gyeonggi. By the end of 2013, the total asset of 1,069 companies came to 12 billion and 444 million dollars. Their total sales figure was 10 billion and 13 million dollars, and annual employments summed up to 33,000 people. The companies generated a significant portion of gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in each region. They formed 0.49% of GRDP of Seoul, took up 1.67% GRDP of Gyeonggi, and 5.53% of that of Daejeon. Along with the performance analysis, the report also took a survey of suggestions on future startup assistance and opinions on current startup assistance policies. To a question asking what constituted the most difficult part of startup, 31.7% of respondents answered “attraction of investment,” 22.8% chose “a lack of human resources,” and 16.8% said “consulting” amongst 214 respondents. The study showed that major and medium enterprises face difficulty in finding human resources whereas small businesses experience obstacles attracting investment. Some startups had help from KAIST: 44 startups were provided with the office space, 21 had educational supports, and 18 were supported in research and development. The report demonstrates that startups established by KAIST alumni and members play a key role in the South Korean economy despite KAIST’s short startup history, which began only since the end of 1990s. Based on this report, KAIST plans to listen continuously to the needs of alumni founders, and use those responses as a guide to entrepreneurship education for current students. The Dean of the Office of University and Industry Cooperation, Joongmyeon Bae, who oversaw the publication of this report, said, "As this report is the first in Korea to study the status of alumni startups, it will be incredibly valuable in modifying the startup assistance policies.” To spread an entrepreneurial spirit and start-up cultures in the campus and enhance the startup supporting system, KAIST has founded various startup centers on and off the campus.
KAIST and Audi Korea Sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Establish a Startup Incubator
For the next five years, Audi Korea will provide USD 250,000 for the startup program. KAIST recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Audi Korea to establish a student-led startup program, the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge, to promote design and product development on May 19, 2015, at the KAIST Institute of Entrepreneurship on campus. Directed by Professor Sang-Min Bae of the Industrial Design Department (IDD), the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge will operate a global business incubator where IDD undergraduate and graduate students cultivate their entrepreneurship skills and explore business opportunities to develop commercially-applicable product designs. Audi Korea will invest USD 250,000 in the Innovation Lounge project for the next five years. Students will receive support from the Lounge to turn their ideas, class assignments, and graduation theses into business products through a full cycle of the product development process such as inquiry, prototype development, and commercialization. The Lounge will also provide students with mentoring services from industry professionals and experts who can assist the students in finding design solutions and building prototypes using 3D printers. The Dean of IDD, Kun-Pyo Lee, said, “Audi has been known for its initiatives which blend technological innovations into design. Likewise, our department offers students an integrative approach to design education and research which incorporates human factors and technology as important features in the design process. I believe that the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge will help us lead such efforts in the future.” Professor Bae added, “This MOU is quite significant because it shows an excellent collaboration between academia and industry. Ideas created in universities should not be left to languish as just an idea or research. Rather, they should be utilized as ways to serve the needs of our society, and to do so, it is important for the government and companies to pay more attention to these interactions taking place between academia and private sectors.” The Head of Marketing at Audi Korea, Jorg Dietzel, said, “As seen in our corporate slogan, "Advancement through Technology," Audi has grown through numerous technological innovations. I hope Audi Korea can contribute to the support of KAIST students from the Industrial Design Department to realize their dreams as future entrepreneurs and bring more innovative ideas to their field.” Picture: Jorg Dietzel (fifth from the left), the Head of Marketing at Audi Korea, and Kun-Pyo Lee (sixth from the left), the Dean of Industrial Design Department, KAIST, pose together right after signing an agreement to create the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge on May 19, 2015.
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