SparkLabs will Set Korean Startups on Fire
To work for a large conglomerate like Samsung or Hyundai is conceived to be the ideal job for many young, freshly-graduated Koreans.
According to a recent Bloomberg article, positions at large companies like these are still highly sought after. However, at the same time, many young entrepreneurs are seeing huge startup successes, like the Facebooks or Instagrams, and finding inspiration to give entrepreneurship a try.
Photo Credit: Tsevis
Here at Advanced Technology, we don’t discriminate between startups or the big guys. We love them all. But the fresh entrepreneurial spirit, huge risks, and endless potential is very exciting (so we’ve introduced Korean startups like Moglue, the interactive book making platform, and Olaworks, a company that develops computer vision and graphic technologies). After all, those elements are what made the big companies big in the first place.
SparkLabs must be on the same thought train. The recently-launched startup accelerator will help Korea’s talented and aspiring entrepreneurs to make it to the international technology community.
The mentor-based program follows in the footsteps of similar accelerators, such as Y-Combinator, TechStars and 500 Startups. With the philosophy of “Founded by Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs,” the program aims to connect startups with a network of knowledgeable and experienced mentors from around the globe. Mentors include leaders from companies, big and small, including Google, Nike, Deloitte, RedOctane (the mastermind behind Guitar Hero) and Pangalore (a mobile social RPG game development company funded by NHN Investment and Hyundai Technology Investment). Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, sit on the Honorary Board of Advisors.
SparkLabs provides a 3-month long program for early-stage entrepreneurs to work towards building global companies. While the main focus is on areas like online gaming, mobile, e-commerce, digital media and the Internet, SparkLabs does take other applications. In addition to the wide mentorship network, the accelerator also invests $25,000 in each company and provides free office space.
It’s good to note that the company or founders don’t necessarily have to be from Korea. They just need to legally reside in Korea for the 3-month period. Similar FAQs can be found here.
It also helps that the founders, Bernard Moon, Hanjoo Lee and Jimmy Kim, have experienced first hand what it’s like to create a startup. Their aim is to promote a culture of innovation in Korea and to give burgeoning businesses the tools to succeed.
Photo Credit: SparkLabs
It is the first member in Korea of the Global Accelerator Network, which is made up of 50 top startup accelerators from around the world. SparkLabs also has partnerships with companies like HOSTWAY, DEMO and DEMO China.
SparkLabs applications open on August 31!
For new companies looking to be a part of a startup community without the commitment of an accelerator, Seoul Space offers another option. This is a more established incubator, offering office space, mentoring and the potential for investment.