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Design start-up accelerator helps connect ideas and opportunity

July 31,2017
Kim Young-se, president of Inno Design, speaks at the opening ceremony of the design multiplex in Gangnam, southern Seoul, July 28. [INNO DESIGN]
Inno Design, a major Korean design company established by world renowned designer Kim Young-se, opened its design multiplex Inno Coworks on July 28 in Gangnam, southern Seoul.

While the seven story building will provide design start-ups with the space and equipment necessary to develop their businesses, a program named the DXL-Lab - Design Accelerating Lab - will offer those baby businesses with the opportunity to come in contact with major investors, including IBK Capital, an affiliate of the Industrial Bank of Korea, who has pledged to nurture more start-ups in Korea.

Inno Coworks’ amusing slogan - “Eat, drink, design!” - obviously was considered while planning the layout of the building. The lower parts of the building include the Purple People Lounge, a cocktail bar slash community lounge in the basement floor, and the Inno D-cafe on the first and second floors. From the third through sixth floors, the company has created a variety of working spaces for designers to explore their possibilities, with tools like 3D printers, a VR space and a lounge where designers can get exclusive information from Stylus, a design consulting website. People can also enjoy a peaceful urban night on the building’s rooftop, where the company has set up tables and a barbecue area.

Providing lesser-known businesses with the financial backing they need, while also providing them the opportunity to come in contact with fresh ideas and innovations they cannot get from within, Inno Coworks hopes to create synergy in the Korean design industry. “Many Korean design start-ups and small businesses have clever ideas and technologies, but not enough investment to get them to the global market,” said Kim Young-se, the president of Inno Design at the opening ceremony. “We hope to provide [the start-ups] with the investment they need.”

Start-ups and companies that wish to join the DXL-Lab can apply on the program’s website. Start-ups will be able to give presentations on their business plans, and five start-ups chosen by an investor attending the presentations will be free to use the facilities of Inno Coworks and receive funding from the program’s partners.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]


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