Postechians Suited with Entrepreneurship
Postechians Suited with Entrepreneurship
  • Professor Yoong Woo Sohn
  • 승인 2016.11.09 19:33
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I came across some pre-entrepreneur college students at ‘Idea Marketplace,’ a program held at POSCO Center in Daechi, Seoul. They were Postechians. ‘Idea Marketplace’ is a job creating exhibit that connects people with investors through a contest between different venture ideas.
A team composed of Postechians introduced several different experimental products such as using bio 3D printer to solve arteriosclerosis through biodegradable stent, managing system for large storage batteries, a social media application modeled after dandelion spore, etc. to the public.
The reason Postechians, students of a school that mainly focuses on research in natural science fields, were able to get involved in the real start-up market was due to entrepreneurship education, which reflect the characteristics of various departments. POSTECH’s vision is to be “a great university that nurtures future global leaders and discovers/develops solutions to grand challenges the nation and mankind face.” Therefore, POSTECH established an entrepreneurship minor (ENTP) and offer all students with entrepreneurship-related education. Business Planning and Creative Entrepreneurship, mandatory courses for ENTP, are based on Planning the Entrepreneurial Venture (PEV) program by Kauffman Foundation, the world-famous entrepreneurship education institute, and have been modified to fit the needs of students specialized for science, technology, engineering, math, etc. ENTP is a minor IME and the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with other departments run and Postechians from various departments take classes.
Through entrepreneurship education, we made students to grow key abilities needed in management for start-ups and come up with a business plan to present in front of other universities such as Seoul National University, Ewha Womens University, etc. We tried to make this a practical education by cooperating with Campus CEO and getting direct evaluation from venture capitalists. Also, we built a network with venture experts to support students with mentoring programs and venture incubating.
To achieve a systematic entrepreneurship education, POSTECH Entrepreneurship Education and Development Center (POSEED) and POSTECH Entrepreneurship Center, APGC Lab, AGIT, POVI etc. have helped commercialize our school’s research output and spreading start-up and venture atmosphere. I myself am also involved in coming up with teaching plans and lectures. Because students’ have outstanding research abilities along with passion, their business plans were in high quality. As a result, the business plans will participate in our school’s POSTECH Start-up Competition (Gwa Mae Ki), Joint Education center for Technology Startup(JETS), POSCO Idea Marketplace, other domestic and foreign student venture competition, etc. after passing through the hands of advisory professors and staffs of commercialization center. Of those selected teams will have the opportunity to participate in global venture education programs such as the Silicon Valley UNIKAMP, KIC I-Corps, AALTO Venture Program. This year, especially, nine out of 40 teams selected by Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning KIC I-Corps were of Postechians and are preparing to change the world as they dreamed with their work.
Now engineers need to step out into the real world to find solutions and continue researching by also reflecting the society’s needs which lacked from engineering education. In other words, it needs to start by finding the needs and find solutions by blending engineering, social science and humane characteristics. Entrepreneurship education trains students to change social values. It does not mean every one of them have to start-up. Some may continue in more in-depth researching to indirectly have an influence. Others may directly get involved in the process by establishing companies.
The goal of entrepreneurship education is to find society’s problems and train people who have the potential to change it into social value. The most important abilities are finding the problem and solving it. Therefore, what entrepreneurship aims is not getting investment through well-written business plans, but ‘read’ the society, find its needs and built a solution by using various approaches available.
I am happy to think what to teach Postechians to ‘read’ the society for the next semester’s entrepreneurship education.