HAVE YOU ever thought about starting your own company? At first sight, establishing your own company may seem extremely difficult. Such action not only requires a lot of creativity, but, the founder also needs to develop marketing strategies, find financial assistance and deal with other technical matters. As so many different skills are required, it is difficult for students to start up a company by themselves. Fortunately, Yonseians are lucky enough to have a reliable institution that can provide guidance and assistance in realizing the dream of starting a venture company.
YES Foundation is an organization that supports Yonsei students and the general public in establishing new enterprises. From preparation to stabilization of an enterprise, the foundation provides useful resources needed to start up a venture. YES Foundation was first launched as a business incubator in 1999, with the name of Yonsei Entrepreneur Incubation Center. Business incubators are a set of programs designed to assist the development of entrepreneurial companies by providing supporting resources as well as management and finance guidance. Currently, YES Foundation also directs entrepreneurship lectures and academies, and also run Yonsei Student Venture Center (YSVC) where student startup enterprises receive constant assistance from.
Entrepreneurship lectures Students interested in starting their own businesses can learn the basics of business through the entrepreneurship lectures. All of these lectures that the YES Foundation administers are under Yonsei University’s credit system, where the students register for a threecredit class during the course registration period. Among the many lectures the foundation provides, the most eye-grabbing one is “21C Techno- Management.” This lecture invites different CEOs each week to talk with the students and aims to cultivate a business mindset in Yonseians.
Entrepreneurship academy Whereas entrepreneurship lectures are more focused on the academics or the philosophical aspect of business, entrepreneurship academy takes a more practical approach that can be directly applied in real life. In the academy, the participants come up with their own business items and develop them into commercial merchandise. The participants are not yet involved in starting up an enterprise themselves. Instead, they receive more practical education and real-life experience that can be directly applied when establishing a venture. Any outstanding trainees are given a maximum of 1 million won in order to fully develop the item.
YSVC For students ready to engage in the actual establishment of an enterprise, the YSVC is the place to go. The center has seven to eight student enterprises in their starting stages, and up to three new teams of applicants are registered every six months. All teams wishing to register are evaluated by the center’s managers who choose the most competent teams. According to Sim Hyo-jung(General Management Office Manager, Yonsei U n i v e r s i t y E n t e r p r i s e Support Foundation), the most important factors in the process of evaluation is the adequacy of the enterprise, market value, and growth potential. Thus, the item proposed by the applying teams must be well prepared to meet the criteria, and if any of the requirements are not met, they are automatically disqualified. Once selected, the teams are given various benefits, such as a free office cell, free access to office supplies and university facilities, and free management and financial consultations. However, every six months, all registered startup companies are evaluated once again. When the teams fail to show an increase in market profit or show no possible prospect for the future, their residence period ends, and they are replaced with other prospective startup businesses. On the other hand, when the teams pass the semiannual evaluations, their residence period can be extended for a maximum of two years and six months.