Starting a business is not as easy as it sounds with financing to corporate registration; there are so many boxes to tick, on top of the fear of possible failure that prevents so many people from even dreaming about it.
Nevertheless, embarking on a new business is about to become so much easier as the Korea Institute Startup & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED) is setting out to give help to those who dream of becoming their own boss. Korea IT Times met Beck Du-ock, President of KISED, to talk about the institute's ideas and support programs that are designed to promote more vibrant entrepreneurship in Korea.
"The essence of a new business is to create value by accommodating a new and innovative technology, idea, information, or service to market demand," said Mr. Beck who took over the chairmanship in December 3, 2010. "The term venture implies big risks that are involved with starting a business. KISED has been undertaking a lot of projects to encourage passionate young people in their 20s and 30s to realize their business ideas," he stated.
In fact, KISED, along with Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) manages numerous programs such as the 'Yes Leader' special lectures and 'Biz-Cool' to inspire entrepreneurship as well as other support programs such as idea commercialization, business idea club, business model competition, future technology sponsorship, and business incubation center aid, and so forth. The institute is also helping startup companies while assisting with patent application and appointing and supporting entrepreneurship leader universities.
As of the end of 2010, while the overall unemployment rate was reported to be 3.3 percent, the unemployment rate of people between the ages of 15 and 29 is 7.0 percent, raising serious concerns in society. Mr. Beck emphasizes the importance of universities in boosting new businesses, explaining that "National competence relies on the education on entrepreneurship in colleges; universities must now take that into account as their main focus in addition to academic achievement."
Since 2000, the number of SCI papers from Korea, in university rankings and teaching evaluations, reached a global level; however, far less people are starting a new business, when compared to 10 years ago. "Universities should find the balance between studies and business," asserts Mr. Beck. "For that reason, from this year, KISED will appoint 15 universities as entrepreneurship leaders and back up their efforts to encourage starting new businesses," he added.
In 2011, KISED is planning to give out unstinting support, mainly in the form of financial aid, for those who want to begin their own business based on excellent technologies and ideas that show high potential from a business perspective.
Moreover, programs such as the 'Technology Enterprise Support' and the 'Leading Venture Network Project were designed to foster new businesses, of less than one year, by linking them with successful venture capital firms. Financial support for building or expanding business incubators will also help more startup businesses survive and maintain smooth operation.
Currently, KISED is backing about 4,000 businesses that are situated within one of the 274 colleges and linked with their business incubators. The range of businesses includes information service, manufacturing, and renewable energy management, and the services provided to startup companies with innovative ideas and outstanding technologies are not only fostering individuals' success, but also the national economy.
The 'Entrepreneurship Leader University,' the 'Technology Enterprise Academy,' and the 'College Enterprise Education Package Project' are among KISED's efforts to push young people's business ideas at universities and colleges. In addition, the institute is planning to extend the Biz-Cool program that provides experience-based economy education for elementary, middle, and high school students.
In order to simplify the startup procedure, KISED launched the corporate registration system, which allows, via its link to six agency services and it costs about KRW 500 thousand. Also, now you can register your business online; completing a procedure that used to take more than a month in the conventional process, but now it takes less than one week. The cost does not exceed more than KRW 10 thousand and it is definitely recommended to those who are preparing start a new company.
With the readily available forms for those normally complicated documents such as the articles of association, users can easily follow the process and the call center (1577-5475) is always there to assist you.
President Beck, who recently passed the 100th day since he took office, expressed that "I am happy to have joined KISED, which is leading job creation through new enterprises - an important challenge in the midst of the global economic crisis. But at the same time, I feel the pressure for taking such a huge task. For the last 100 days, I have shared and established the visions, strategies, and values of KISED through workshops and other opportunities. With the new English BI, the institute will soar further as it enters a new era in which we will create stronger hardware as well as software." As for the fact that KISED was selected as a public institution on January 24, he added, "It means KISED is now taking on a bigger role and responsibility, and we will try to assist Korea's economic development based on job creation and business support."