To everyone living in Korea, KakaoTalk is a household name. Yet the popular messaging app is only the poster child of a much larger start-up ecosystem. Forbes Magazine hailed Korea as “the next global hub for tech startups”, and the government pledged to spend billions of dollars to foster a “creative economy”. To learn more about entrepreneurship in Korea and understand the macro-trends at work behind the scenes, we had the pleasure to talk to Richard Min.
Richard founded two of Korea’s first major startup accelerators: SeoulSpace and KStartup, attracting investment from global brands such as 500Startups, Samsung and Google’s Entrepreneurship Program. He is currently a Venture Partner at Naxuri Capital and the Managing Director of Fashion Technology Accelerator, here in Seoul. Richard is also the founder of the +822 Convergence Conference and Cityfest, which will take place in Seoul this october. He hosts his own weekly show on TBS Primetime radio and was featured in several news outlets, including INC Magazine and Bloomberg.
The hardest part was not money, not opportunity, it was culture. And there’s a huge stigmatism against jumping into entrepreneurship, as in fear of failure […] I always say that my target market is the ‘ajummas’ […] because when they can go in a little group together, Tupperware parties […] or whatever and brag about their son or daughter who’s now going to be the next entrepreneur of the world, that’s when I’ve succeeded.
The interview was conducted on March 9th in Seoul.