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2017-10 31

[Performance]Hanyang University Being the Stepping Stone for Start-up Companies

The term ‘crowdfunding’, which refers to the practice of funding a project or venture by raising a small amount of money from a large number of individuals, typically via the Internet, has become one of daily vocabularies. This year, Hanyang university’s Startup Support Foundation has collaborated with a global crowdfunding online platform to provide fund raising opportunities for growing ventures in Korea. The Indiegogo Pilot Program started on the 8th of August, and the duration is approximately four months, having the product launching in early November. Poster informing applications for the Indiegogo Pilot Program, details are written below. (Photo courtesy of Center for Business Incubation) “Indiegogo runs this program every quarter, and Hanyang applied this time,” said the manager in charge, Joe Jong-hyuk. Five companies chosen by HYU were provided with online crowdfunding coach programs made by Indiegogo. Then, their business items were analyzed thoroughly to decide which companies should be in the final list of support. Two promising companies survived this process: Zero Founders and Brilliant & Company. Portable fine dust measuring device, Brilliant & Company Founded in 2015, Brilliant & Company developed a portable fine dust measuring device that can be linked to mobile phones. The company successfully raised funds through Wadiz (a Korean crowdfunding online platform) and Kakao story funding in 2016. Based on such know-hows and technological experiences, the firm created a new device called ‘PiCO’. PiCO is a living environment monitor that detects not only fine dust but also temperature, humidity, and CO2 level around the user. PiCo from Brilliant & Company. It also has it's own mobile application that can be paired with cellphones. (Photo courtesy of Brilliant & Company) “We applied to this program thanks to the manager Joe,” mentioned Yoon Jung-yoon, CEO of Brilliant & Company. According to Yoon, Hanyang Startup Support Foundation provided a lot of support and help to the ventures occupying the building. For example, whenever the Brilliant & Company had issues on their prototype, the center would suggest solutions based on their abundant experiences, or even introduce consulting firms when it comes to financial issues. Yoon ambitiously said that they are aiming to raise a million dollars through Indiegogo pilot program. “You always have to aim high, don’t you?” chuckled Yoon. Nevertheless, capital is not the only thing a venture can acquire through this program. The business can also find global IT retail partners such as Home-Bau in Germany. Check how your skin is today with Zerofounders The other company which made it to the final Indiegogo support venture is Zerofounders. This global beauty technology company has two main products related to the pilot program. The first one is INCO which measures body fat from the user’s abdominal thickness. ECLAIR measures one’s skin condition, especially the balance of oil and moisture based on the user’s biological cycle such as sleep time and work out regularity. Zerofounders aims to make the betterment of women’s lives. Therefore, they research and develop devices that can help women manage their outer beauty whenever needed. Zerofounder's products, INCO (left) and ECLAIR (right). (Photo courtesy of Zerofounders) Jung Hannah, CEO of Zerofounders said, “crowdfunding is a platform where early adopters looking for innovative products are concentrated.” Jung was planning to promote their new ECLAIR through such a platform when she received an email from HYU. One of the many benefits of participating in the Indiegogo Pilot Program is that the venture companies can acquire deep insight in the whole process of crowdfunding, from making promotion videos to the actual launching of the product. Joe mentioned, “Hanyang Startup Support Foundation is supporting the financials of the video making and marketing for now, and we plan to provide more aid when needed.” With the help of Hanyang and Indiegogo, Zerofounders targets North American and European markets. Specifically, they aim to collaborate with cosmetic brands or to have offline stores. Startup Support Foundation operates and organizes numerous programs like this to support growing ventures and start-up businesses regardless of the CEO's school backgroud. For more information, anyone may visit the Center for Business Incubation's website (click). Kim So-yun dash070@hanyang.ac.kr