As a POSTECHIAN, I Just Grabbed ‘a’ Chance
As a POSTECHIAN, I Just Grabbed ‘a’ Chance
  • times
  • 승인 2022.03.29 02:49
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

Park Joong-woo (IME 18)

Hello, my name is Park Joong-woo. I am currently an undergraduate in the Department of Industrial Management and Engineering (IME) at POSTECH and serving as CEO of DeepLeHR Inc.

DeepLeHR. Inc
DeepLeHR Inc. is a new start-up that has only been three months since its establishment last year on Nov. 10. It is a company founded by four undergraduates from POSTECH, and we are providing a service called “ (고초대졸닷컴).” is a recruitment platform specialized in manufacturing/technical jobs. Until now, integrated recruitment platforms such as Saramin or Jobkorea occupied most of the shares of the recruitment market in Korea. However, now that the “timely/appropriate” recruitment strategy has become a trend with the recruitment market steadily becoming vertical, new recruitment platforms targeting a certain field or specific size of a company are emerging like “Rocketpunch,” “Jumpfit,” “,” and “Wanted”. Our platform is targeting high school or junior college graduates who wish to join manufacturing and technical areas.

How it All Began
The beginning was not so grand. The current four members of the company met as a team when we were preparing for the Guamegi, an on-campus startup competition. I first teamed up with Director Seo Dong-hee, who I met while working for the school ambassador Alimi, and Director Han Seung-mok, who I met at the futsal club Kickoff. Then, Director Shim Min-seob joined the team after a recommendation from the two directors. Originally, we prepared an item called the “Automatic Sound Effect Insertion Solution.” Somehow, we won an award at a competition called “KDB MINI IR,” and were told by the investment team leader of POSTECH Holdings, where I did an internship at, that the item is worth the investment. Afterward, all four of us started considering founding a start-up seriously. We all immediately took a gap year and came to Seoul. Originally, I imagined myself becoming a graduate or doing consulting work in the future. However, I believed now was the only time that I could begin a startup, and I wanted to grab this precious chance with such a wonderful team. I put down everything for the startup, and my vision and thoughts matched with other members as well, so we were able to start quickly without difficulty.

Overcoming Challenges
Our original item was “Automatic Sound Effect Insertion Solution,” but we pivoted and changed the item. In fact, there was a government project that had been agreed upon, and we received investment proposals from various venture capitalists. However, after encountering many customers, we realized that the market size was smaller than what we thought, and we may have ended up investing in a nonprofitable item. Thus, we decided to start from the beginning, and I was mentally challenged by the fact that we were going back to base-zero. After a month and a half, we concluded to target and occupy the manufacturing/technical recruitment market which was very underdeveloped at that time. We launched a beta version of our service in a week and received positive feedback from the customers. We are still providing the service.
When it comes to “start-ups,” one tries to change the inconveniences that surround one. While we kept this in mind, we realized that the item we came up with was something that somebody had already started, or had problems related to small market size. So, we investigated every company that became a unicorn within the last 5 years to find opportunities in the market. Then we found an American unicorn business called “HandShake,” a LinkedIn-like service for newcomers in society. Interviewing a few business personnel managers, we realized that the needs for hiring newcomers in society were low. Then, we accidentally met a manager who was in charge of hiring manufacturing workers and gathered insight to develop our current item. Although it was difficult to send countless contact emails and get rejected, we were able to receive lots of feedback and good insights as a result of our steady efforts.

Goals and Visions
Our ultimate goal is to sell the company after a successful M&A, and we have two visions. One is to change society’s perception regarding manufacturing jobs. The term “manufacturing job” still gives somewhat a negative view in Korea. We hope to change this perception and instill people with the perception that “manufacturing jobs are cool!” The other is to shift the perception regarding small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Especially when it comes to manufacturing, people do not wish to join the SMEs, and hence many SMEs suffer from labor force shortages. Just as Yanolja changed people’s perception regarding motels, we would like to resolve the gap between companies that provide recruitment and recruitment platforms by providing enough PR opportunities for SMEs. In the future, DeepLeHR plans to widen the target range to daily or overseas markets. Please look forward to it!
Founding a startup has high stakes. I could go bankrupt right away tomorrow. However, if you really would like to start a business, I recommend doing it “properly.” Studying and managing a business at the same time is really hard. At least, it did not work well for me. Encountering many customers and investment companies in Seoul, you can gain a completely different perspective about startups compared to preparing for startups at school. If you are in school, try to meet many people while experiencing a variety of activities. Startups could be too difficult to start alone. If you have someone to work together with, it will help you a lot. I joined various clubs and organizations like Alimi, Kickoff, MSSA, and the student council. Somebody you may have met by chance could become an important connection in the future. If you are interested in startups, please feel free to contact me. Just as I received so much help in the past, I would like to return it to you!