Future of Entrepreneurship in South Korea: Discussing a Creative Economy

On May 24, 2013, South Korean policy makers, along with top leaders in science and technology, will meet to discuss South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s “creative economy” initiative at the 2013 International Symposium hosted by the The Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI). STEPI is a government policy think tank devoted to research and analysis on the issues pertaining to science, technology, and innovation.

The “creative economy” initiative is the Park administration’s latest agenda for growing the nation’s economy in the next five years through innovation in science and technology. Despite South Korea’s embrace of technology and an its citizens’ incredible work ethic, Koreans are still predominately conservative in their opinion of entrepreneurship and risk-taking. The idea of a leaving a highly paid corporate job at one of South Korea’s three conglomerates for a startup goes completely against the country’s traditional definition of success.

In an effort to reverse such attitudes and foster a better atmosphere for innovation, the South Korean government has launched a series of policies designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses. Over the last few years, such initiatives have created hundreds of incubators throughout the country, offered entrepreneurs free office space, thousands of dollars in grants, and guaranteed loans, but the country has yet to succeed in nurturing the kinds of disruptive companies that are prevalent in the U.S.

These are the exact challenges entrepreneurs and experts, like Google Korea Managing Director Doug Yeum, are scheduled to discuss at the upcoming 2013 International Symposium. 3 Day Startup (3DS) CEO Cam Houser will be joining the conversation with a talk about creating exportable and repeatable entrepreneurship education models. Although South Korean universities have traditionally excelled at commercializing university research, there has been very little emphasis on providing practice-based learning opportunities to help students start companies.

According to a recent report conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, over 50 percent of entrepreneurs in countries like the U.S. and in Europe and China are between the ages 18-34, indicating South Korea may need to focus more of its initiatives in helping young entrepreneurs. Houser says, “Through our work with top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Peking University, we’ve found that academic settings where students can experience the entire startup process first hand are exceedingly rare, so there is definitely a need for more hands-on programs targeted towards college students.”

About 3 Day Startup

3 Day Startup (3DS) teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment. In addition to supporting budding entrepreneurs, 3DS programs cultivate entrepreneurial communities that contribute to the growth of entrepreneurship ecosystems in the regions surrounding these university programs. This proven program provides students the tools they need to start successful companies. To date, more than 41 companies have come out of 3DS to collectively raise $10.5 million in investor capital and more than a dozen have been accepted to prestigious incubators and accelerators such as Y Combinator and TechStars. For more information, please visit us at www.3daystartup.org, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/3daystartup and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/3daystartup.

One thought on “Future of Entrepreneurship in South Korea: Discussing a Creative Economy

  1. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you
    should write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

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