Gov’t bringing back start-up training programThe government is reviving an entrepreneurship incubator program in joint operation with Stanford University as part of efforts to revitalize the start-up boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning yesterday announced that it will launch a renewed version of the start-up training strategy called the Global Entrepreneurship Program in the second half of this year.
“The government hopes to support small but bright start-ups to grow as the next Nexon and Hancom, which will lead the expanding current start-up business ecosystem,” the ministry said in a statement.
About 50 students per year graduated from the program between 1999 and 2003, including Korean IT gurus such as Kim Jung-ju, CEO and founder of NXC, the holding company of Korea’s largest game company Nexon.
The ministry is relaunching the plan especially for existing tech start-ups and small and midsize companies. About 20 companies will be chosen to receive training starting from the basics. The platform will also help the companies look at branching out into the U.S.
The National IT Industry Promotion Agency and alumni of the former program will screen candidates based on their business potential and the competency of their technologies.
The program is divided into three stages. Before flying to California, the 20 participating start-ups will spend a couple of days analyzing their business and studying entrepreneurship theories based on education material from the Germany-based Kauffman Foundation.
The participants will spend a week at Stanford University Institute of Design, which has produced successful start-up founders such as Kevin Systrom of Instagram, to discuss problems with their current products and customer relations. They will spend another week in mentoring programs with U.S.-based start-up consulting companies and venture capitalists.
Individuals in the local start-up industry said that restarting the program will help local entrepreneurs and small and midsize companies expand their markets and learn about overseas business environments and consumers.
“The hottest topic among start-up owners today is the phrase ‘born global,’” said Park Tae-geun, public relations chief at Korea Venture Business Association. “It is not just about selling overseas but starting their business in a global setting, which allows them to develop technologies, products and services tailored to the needs of overseas consumers.”
The application period opens today and ends in July.
BY kim ji-yoon [email@example.com]