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[NEWS] SU Social Venture Startup Teams Win 50 Million Won in Government Funding for Business

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– Through Ministry of SMEs’ “Pre-Startup Package” Program
– By Presenting Medical Solution for Non-English Speaking Foreigners and Caregiving Platform for Elder and Disabled

SU student entrepreneurs have been selected to receive about 50 million won of government support for their groundbreaking startup ideas to address social issues.

SU startup teams Internationalization Institute (Leader: Oh Jun-jae, Computer Mechatronics Engineering) and Shimgeum (Leader: Gwak, Da-bin, Computer) participated in the 2021 Pre-Startup Package, a program co-organized by the Ministry of SMEs and the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development, and were selected in the “social venture area” as beneficiaries of 49 million won each for business expenses.

The program provides prospective entrepreneurs in the field of technology with packaged support which includes commercialization funds, mentoring, and education. In particular, the part of the program called “social venture area” focuses on discovering and nurturing prospective social venture entrepreneurs who will generate and realize social values.

The idea from Internationalization Institute that won the government support was a medical solution app called the “Korea Life-Medic (KOLA)” for non-English speaking foreigners in Korea. Despite a significant increase in the number of foreign residents in Korea, quality medical service in the country often eludes them due to the language barrier. The lack of access to proper medical service is especially severe among non-English speaking foreigners, leaving them in blind spots in the healthcare system.

In this regard, the Internationalization Institute presented an idea of developing a medical information delivery system for non-English-speaking foreigners. Equipped with intuitive pictograms, the app enables users to properly communicate their pains and symptoms to medical staff without any language-related difficulties.

The team also provides a customized medical guidance service, which utilizes a completed form of user information about their cultural background, period of stay in Korea, medical costs, and medical conditions to recommend the appropriate hospital and treatment for them. Moreover, the app has an “emergency one-touch service,” which automatically delivers the patient information, including their blood type, location, nationality, medication history, and much more, to the 119 Safety Report Center with a single touch of the emergency button in the app.

The ambitious pre-entrepreneurs announced their plan of partnering with the SU Language Institute to secure users from communities of foreign students, including Vietnamese, Mongolia, and Russia, and further expanding their service to cover multicultural immigrants and foreign workers as well.

Team Shimgeum was selected for a project called “Caregiving Platform for the Elderly and Disabled.” The Korean government is already running a support system for providing help to seniors and the disabled to lead an independent life. However, unlike its initial goal, the existing system struggles to protect the autonomy and choice of users, as it utilizes intermediate supporting agencies to unilaterally assign and dispatch caregivers.

In this regard, Shimgeum came up with the idea of developing a platform on which customers can choose their caregivers themselves. The platform is expected not only to guarantee users’ autonomy but also to trigger sound competition among caregivers in the caregiving economy, leading to the enhancement of quality and professionalism in the service.

The team plans to go beyond the function of simple matching to provide a one-stop service by equipping the platform with basic attainment education and professional training contents.

Before applying for the government’s startup contest, the student entrepreneurs participated in SU’s Startup Support Center’s program called, “Hey! You Too Can Receive the Government’s Startup Fund!” and advanced their ideas into a specified and well-organized startup portfolio. This program prepares its participants for startup-related government support projects and other external contests by customized startup training and intensive mentoring.

“Thanks to the support and mentoring of the SU Startup Support Center, the community service group, and our senior startup teams, we were able to produce an outstanding result,” Shimgeum’s leader Gwak Da-bin said. She added, “We will do our best to be an exemplary startup case.”

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