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Entrepreneurial Startups
Writer Admin Created 2019-01-29 Hit 1109

As a cradle of entrepreneurship, KAIST’s College of Business has played a leading role in producing IT service startups. More recently, its graduates have been making notable contributions to the game industry, O2O, and knowledge-based ventures.


Alumni serving as heads of online game companies include Byung-kwan Kim, the founder of Webzen; Sung-kyun Na, the founder of Neowiz; Yong-hoon Kim, the chairman of Daum Games; Kye-hyun Cho, the chairman of Engine; Chang-hyun Guk, the chairman of WeMade Entertainment, and Young-jun Lim, the chairman of YD Online. Alumni CEOs of knowledge-based ventures, which provide strategic consulting services on S&T policies for the government, are Technovalue’s Yun-cheol Im, Knowledge Works’ Cheol-won Lee, and Technovation’s Jae-ho Hyun. Also worth mentioning are Sang-hyuk Lee, the founder of Yello Mobile, recognized as a unicorn in O2O; Jeong-seok Noh of 5Rocks; and Dave Park, who completed the PhD program in management engineering and founded the big data company Recobell. In the venture capital sector, there are CEO Jeong-seok Goh of Ilshin Venture Capital, CEO Yong-in Park of Donghoon Investment, CEO Sang-du Lee of Wooshin Venture Investment, CEO Yeong-min Yun of Kolon Investment, CEO Jae-jung Kwon of K Run Ventures, and Beom-seok Seo, the former CEO of Hoseo Venture Capital.  

In the early days, those with a PhD in management engineering accounted for a high proportion of startups founded by the College of Business alumni. This trend changed in 1995, when the MBA programs were diversified. KAIST MBA graduates who had gained experience working at major companies also began to launch startups. They include Jin-hwa Jang, who graduated from the Techno MBA program and founded SPK Inc., and Gyu-yeol Choi, the founder of Techxen; Jae-gyu Mun, who completed the information media MBA and founded Ziness Communication. Recent startups by alumni have been focused on AI, IoT, and blockchain, which are considered key technology of the fourth industrial revolution. Some examples are Seong Yun, who majored in finance and founded the blockchain company FANTOM; Seok-tae Goh, who has an MBA in information media and founded the AI consulting firm MINDs n Company; Hyun-cheol Kim, who completed the EMBA program and founded the smart IoT solution company HK Networks; Han-kwan Kim, who graduated from the professional MBA program and founded the VR simulator company Lighthouse; and Kyung-tae Lee, who has an EMBA and founded the smart frame blue canvas company El Factory.

 

Many alumni have come under the spotlight in the food service industry. They include Sang-jae Park, who completed the Techno MBA program and founded the kombucha brewing company Brewguru; Si-du Ryu, who earned his master’s in information management and founded the insect food company Edible Bug; Sang-hun Bae, who completed the information media MBA and founded Young Butcher; Dong-yeop Lee, who has a degree in green business and founded COFFEEMANN; Jae-won Im, who has a master’s in management engineering and created the one-person wood fired pizza market with GOPIZZA; and Hong-hee Park & Yeon-mi Gwak, husband-and-wife Techno MBA degree holders and co-founders of Ugong’s Strawberry Garden.

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