👍Korea Startups and Doing Business as a Startup Ep. 11

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Junhwan Paul Kang

Junhwan Paul Kangis the founder of Cosmic StatioN, an entrepreneurial community that conglomerates multinational entrepreneurs, creators, and designers. He has designed colossal projects and boundless connections to help Korean governmental agencies, Seoul City, enterprise companies, like LG, Samsung, Microsoft, HP, startups, and entrepreneurs around the globe for over 10 years.

Recently, he co-founded travel and urban tech startup, stepinto.city. He is responsible for stepinto.city's overall vision and business strategy in addition to daily operations. Since the company’s founding, Junhwan Paul has focused on simplicity and inspiring creativity through clarification of both structure and product management.

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Christopher D Yeom
Christopher D Yeom is a developer and builder who has been working in web full-stack developments, game developments, internationalization, human language computation, OCR, image processing, and blockchain dApp developments.

After spending nearly a decade working in software development for startups, Yeom finally began working with Paul in Cosmic StatioN. Yeom is currently the CTO for Cosmic StatioN and is a builder who has critical thinking and approaching skills. 

Yeom has a BA in computer graphic and an MA in installation arts. Yeom was an illustrator before he started his career in software development.

Show Announcer 0:26

Welcome to Silicon Valley successes, we interview experts and entrepreneurs to give the world access to the knowledge and experience that is here in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to create opportunities for those who

seek them

and tell you to become the next Silicon Valley success.

Shawn Flynn 0:49

Welcome to Silicon Valley successes. I'm your host, Sean Flynn. I've been in Silicon Valley a number of years now working with startups, incubators, accelerators, investors from all around the world. And today we have two amazing guests with us. They come from Korea, UAE. And Chris. They help companies from Korea landed Silicon Valley and companies from Silicon Valley or the US go to Korea. They help them with the struggles, give them advice, make introductions, all things that they need to help them succeed. So without further ado, let me introduce our two guests. Do you have Chris Could you please give a brief introduction of who you are? Do you know Would you like to start Yes, this is June so I am Creative Problem sortable and side project designer to have the company and the governmental agency and sort of, say in South Korea, so I'll founded my company because I'm Susan 2007. Okay. Yeah.

Chris Youm 1:42

And Chris Oh, hi. I'm Chris

Shawn Flynn 1:45

Oh, well,

Chris Youm 1:47

well, personally, I'm Peter like, I do code

for Chrome extension. I'm the one who taken care of all the or technical interests are like starting from like international radiation engineering to like investigating new technologies for like a question extension. So yeah,

Shawn Flynn 2:06

that's what I'm doing. So the name of your guys company is cosmic station. Yes, that correct. Now, could you tell me about some of the advantages or tools that you give startups or companies that work with cosmic station?

Actually, first how'd you come up with the name cosmic state? Right, so

Junhwan Kang 2:25

actually, when I named the customisation inspired by international space station Oh, so you know, so when the when people to make a deal goal to do to do dream and so how many people will collaborate with you something? Okay, so I'm gonna make the customization

consists of multinational agencies and protect designers and the companies to help entrepreneur

Shawn Flynn 3:00

so you had from day one this world view your mind open? Yeah. And then how did you meet Chris or Chris Were you the one that went to June Hall about this project?

Chris Youm 3:12

Oh, well, I mean, basically, I met him when I was in Korea in Korea I was I mean when I was in Korea I was an illustrator and I I needed or job so that's the chance that I needed to be in Korea Do you

Shawn Flynn 3:29

know what were you doing and create that time?

Junhwan Kang 3:32

Yes. So yeah, actually solo CD estimate to make brand awareness, the CDP vendor openness around the world, okay. And so when they estimate how to do so I hope for digital. How about making the content movie content as apt I pitched the idea. So solo CD is so provide the font I made a 17 episode on a new trouble and all equal in China or, you know, so when I tried to make the video content I got noble lights from so along the bottom, okay, Switzerland and novelist and then I invited five with directors, okay, to medical 17 episodes was I built a multinational team, make the video content and own out on YouTube and all your cool Indeed, I collaborated with the drama fever, okay. When the drama people founded in 2010, and I'm remember this Chris in San Francisco. I invited him to maker is freemium is the owner of the platform. Okay, I'll be the WordPress

Chris Youm 4:58

Yeah. So basically on once I moved into the San Francisco from Korea, I don't there was another chance that was that that and on I have to him to build up the site based on based upon the WordPress

Junhwan Kang 5:13

well, and is know when we should be the project in the workplace. And we develop the voting system. Okay, and it's a combined Twitter and we you know, it's a very interesting point, this video, YouTube view. Lucido 108 million Jews

Shawn Flynn 5:37

Oh, wow. 108 million. Yeah. So this is amazing. So it sounds like for the last 10 years, you've been involved with multinational operations between other countries and Korea. Yeah. So you've seen firsthand all the problems and possibilities that these companies have faced. And so with that you have this amazing background for what you're doing currently. Is this correct? Yeah, yeah,

Chris Youm 6:07

just say Yes, that's correct. Okay.

Shawn Flynn 6:09

So tell me about some of the problems the company might face when go into Korea

Junhwan Kang 6:16

Yeah, so definitely everyone know is how to overcome the language barrier also the good Korean people had difficulty to make the communication with the

American based entrepreneur okay full speak English okay. You know so

Shawn Flynn 6:41

as the American team have to have someone that speaks Korean you business in Korea or can they hire someone there? Or is it translators efficient? What's your recommendations? I'm

Unknown 6:54

honestly

Junhwan Kang 6:56

even though America startup companies hired people

can speak Korean justice speak Korean means

stage of pink, one side, you know, a side actually, when somebody want to do business at the new land, okay, what do they need the language and how to get familiar to culture and how to make a business network. And so how to deal with

some law problem is the average every business field has a different culture and default the system

Shawn Flynn 7:41

and an earlier episode of Silicon Valley successes, we didn't meet with two experts in cultural

diversity and inclusion. And they talked a lot about culture. Yeah, but you'd mentioned right there about business marketing. introductions. Yeah. Can you talk about the importance of knowing the key players and in a new country in a new city to get business done? Yeah. how important that is.

Junhwan Kang 8:11

So can I say just how about think outside the box? It's, it's a good point. And so even though somebody know the person how they go, how they work with them, okay, so so essentially everyone know all great people, but they are big,

you know,

indeed, many people contact them. Okay. And so how do v found the hidden gem Okay, is related to the language barrier communication barrier, even though they are great people is that they are very shy and they cannot speak English Okay, so you know how to build the system how to build a network connect with them how to bring them into the darkness okay. Yeah. Interested in so I'm gonna tell another point instead, you know,

so we are developing the program its name check for. Okay. So, name cultural collegian chakra okay and is a very interesting point if you guys launched the company in Korea will launch the product in Korea is vice versa is a Korean company wanted to launch a product in America market go What is the first thing is informed your name

Shawn Flynn 9:47

way so yeah let's go back so if a company from Korea yeah wants to set up an operation the US or from the US to go to Korea yeah step number one is get a name that yeah that fits yeah that translation or that that country yeah give me examples

Junhwan Kang 10:06

yes even though they didn't translate to the name into English what into Korea there is just to launch the product because I have was around the three is episodes

Shawn Flynn 10:19

examples. Yeah, see examples. So

Junhwan Kang 10:22

all right,

Shawn Flynn 10:22

Tommy, tell me one or two or all three guys

Junhwan Kang 10:26

inside supported the Korean based company they incorporated in LA was in Boston okay. habit or is HQ in Korea. Okay. But they launched a name. And so the 3d printing company

Shawn Flynn 10:43

okay. 3d printing. Yeah,

Junhwan Kang 10:44

when they launched the product and they did the crowdfunding campaign. The name is still PS

even they launched the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter level they didn't what bs means.

Shawn Flynn 11:05

Oh, wow. Okay, how about one more example more

Junhwan Kang 11:08

up tempo and inside supported I had the watch TV the company the company developed a smart flow

Shawn Flynn 11:16

part smart flower pot. Yeah. Okay.

Junhwan Kang 11:19

It's not proper means So Joe so with a smartphone application controlling air circulation and so the lighting and the water tank is overweight and so their target audience was so

funny 20 and 30 aged women okay and so had the children

yeah they brought the name Willie

Unknown 11:50

Willie garden Really? Got to know we'll

Junhwan Kang 11:55

have a couple of Yeah, yeah, indeed. It really is a kind of you know, it's how we sold it to this name. When this name was popper sold under the Willie has the name is the way the old man Okay, so the target audience I think we're good. Okay.

Shawn Flynn 12:18

So step one. Yeah. Make sure your name translates or change it for that new country. Yeah. What are some of the next steps for a company coming from Korea here from here to Korea? Or even better? Yeah, tell me why a company from Korea would want to come to us an early stage company or this is core company from us want to go to Korea very early. Why

Junhwan Kang 12:47

I'm possible. So I'm going to tell why Korean based startup company want to break into America. market makers eat food. They make us meaningful, successful case. Okay. They will get great benefit from Korea government.

Shawn Flynn 13:06

So what so a company from Korea? Yeah. enters the US market. Yeah. Maybe raises 50,000 on Kickstarter. Yeah. Can they get benefits from the Korean government than 50,000? Yeah, yeah.

Junhwan Kang 13:21

Right. Right. So if they get the $50,000 in crowdfunding campaign, yeah. They may eligible to get they may get the chance to draw in the r&d project with Korea couple months around 3000 thousand dollar 300,000 300,000

Shawn Flynn 13:41

yeah so you could take 350 thousand you raise hear from investors you know go back to Korea yeah and possibly work with the Korean government yeah and get another 300,000 yeah to research and develop that product and row

Junhwan Kang 13:54

yeah right in so in other hand you know it's a very unique

startup supporting program in South Korea

Shawn Flynn 14:03

Oh Tell me about some of these startup support programs

Junhwan Kang 14:05

and so they called they named it keeps

Shawn Flynn 14:09

tips

Junhwan Kang 14:10

tips is kind of tip of the iceberg

yeah pizza mean so when some investor angel investor so embarrassed to certain Rania answer is a clickable and gave with the phone to establish kind of matching point. Okay, yeah,

Shawn Flynn 14:29

so $100,000 from an angel here in the Chinese are not sorry, sorry. The government will match give 100,000 to the startups

Junhwan Kang 14:40

isn't it? I'm not sure it's a non voice a little bit different they have the

keeps program is that every year the Korean government as

just so much either angel investor Wow. To take care with startup company plenty of stuff to make a success for the global south. Okay. You know,

Shawn Flynn 15:06

so sounds like the Korean governments very supportive of start online. Tell me the startups do they have to be the founders Korean? Or can they be a US team that partners with a Korean team or a US team that opens up an office in Korea what are the requirements for these companies to then I guess work with you guys who would then work with them to go to the Korean government

Junhwan Kang 15:35

is so there are there are 2.2 way to waste waste into the one is a medical collaboration project with the Korea based company okay to make is some r&d project and then it would they make a successful case with these successful case and so in some movie shipped to America

Shawn Flynn 16:00

Okay, ya

Junhwan Kang 16:01

know, so just kind of slowly Yeah, I mean, I don't

Chris Youm 16:05

think adding on the purse or or opinions like I had one interesting example I mean it's kind of a story that my friend actually faced so my friend she um, she uses a to plan her own startup which is in our trip sector and she wanted to build your own team and she wanted to have have got some funds from basically from Korea because she is from Korea but she wasn't here so basically she has established our company here and go to go back to Korea to have fun and and one day she went to to the or one of the government programs representatives and she had on meeting with them and she explained all her plans and and benefits of startups you're on and she wanted to get a fund from them but the reply from their side which is government side Korean government decided was a simple on if we have got any fund from USA because you register to your company in USA because you are come from the USA. So if you have got any funds from USA at first, like 500 startups or or why continue to grow? Okay, well, then they were they say they willing to give an extra want to her well, so it is scary. Yeah, it was a very interesting moment.

Shawn Flynn 17:38

That's interesting. So to find out more information about do Hawk Chris and a lot of the other people that had been on our show, please visit Silicon Valley successes. com. We're also on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, but once again, visit Silicon Valley successes. com. Now back to Chris in general. So the Korean government will actually use Y Combinator 500 startups and a lot of these incubators and accelerator programs in Silicon Valley and just use that as a way to kind of that or screen the startups to give them funds

Unknown 18:15

yeah well okay.

Chris Youm 18:17

That was the truth

Junhwan Kang 18:18

Oh wow. Mia is one of the elements to it so how to support how to collect your startup companies okay you know so you should know say indeed there are very specific is things this year and new patrons the renamed the Minister of cabinet. Okay, from the small middle enterprise, they add SMB sn s. m. e S. S. startups, small medium enterprise and startups ok. I see me that they are willing to they are likely to show how Korea government boosts startup companies. Okay.

Shawn Flynn 19:10

So these startups Yeah. How early can they go to the Korean government? And can they go with just an idea more they really need to have either gone through an incubator accelerator, raise some type of money or already had a partnership. Yeah.

Junhwan Kang 19:28

And so we already so had the partnership and so we have little, very professional teams in Seoul, South Korea. Okay. So we already so collaborates with the team in New York in San Francisco so

Chris Youm 19:46

yeah, personally I think that that may depends on case by case yet because um yeah as I gave an example case or she she didn't have developers okay she I mean she was the only one who planning and food or looking for the chance but um, but what once if if we should cut our fund from here then getting x extra funds from Korea couple months warranty picked up for

Shawn Flynn 20:22

Okay, so just a if I'm a start up here in Silicon Valley, I have no Korean members of my team right now. But I've already raised say, $300,000 and I need another hundred $200,000. Can I then go to Korea, say hey, I'm going to set up an office here. Hire one employee and then go to the Korean government or work with someone like yourselves to go to the Korean government to try to get that last hundred thousand. Is that possible?

Junhwan Kang 20:56

Coming to you? If you are just a single you are great idea. I'm gonna ask you contract, right. Plus in Korea. Ok. And then make the way so they are all a way to make it

right. So, but in order to check please write posts,

so solution and so. So honestly, so I just this morning I got the grace. Great opportunity from product school. Okay.

Unknown 21:34

So great products. Classical. Yeah. Okay.

Junhwan Kang 21:36

So they have founding their founding the community manager community organizer in every city around the world. Wow. They asked me so we discussed about the and so they asked me to be city to city organizer. So he means the startup company has a great community Solar City. Okay. And so, you know, even though they are great process, but the gray person needs such as a single but he put a great person is a CEO of a company, they will ask a lot of money. Okay. means just looking for community. Okay, so just through the community, the checkup, deal idea will be validated in the company or Korea. Yeah.

Shawn Flynn 22:28

So how important is it knowing the right community groups or knowing the right contacts in Korea for a startup to succeed there.

Unknown 22:39

So

Junhwan Kang 22:40

you know,

in general, there are a lot of community similar to so American based community service because it was somebody has caused this vehicle not just informed the holiday and co founder community indeed, but they're very concerned with seen considerable deals. So just American based company is searching Google but

like the China they are a deep they are to

Shawn Flynn 23:18

cows. Very popular in Korea. Yeah. Canada. other social

Junhwan Kang 23:21

media plan. Yeah. Right. So there you have it for the comments. The online community if entrepreneur was a company contact so little bit. ly community in not in Facebook, but in naval also in calculus in band Day May when it comes to collaborate with companies

Shawn Flynn 23:46

interested? Yeah. Okay. So to recap on what we've talked about. So far, we've talked about your company helping startups or companies from around the world enter Korea, more Korean startups go outside to other parts of the world, specifically San Francisco, New York, we've talked about how one of the first things companies should do when entering a new country is make sure their name fits. We gave a couple of examples from the flower pie and the 3d printer. We also talked about how the Korean government supports a lot of startups and how if you have a partnership with the team in Korea, you can get funding for your research and development. If you raised funding in the US and you go to Korea, the government may match that I did. We've also talked about the Korean government might use 500 startups, Y Combinator and other incubators and accelerator programs in Silicon Valley as a vetting process to see if they want to give you money. But you've given some great advice on how it's so important to make sure you're talking to the right people this whole time and some of these people there are extremely busy and there might be language barriers, yeah, is very important to go through a company organizations such as yourself to reach these people and also companies here have to know to use right social media tools when they're in Korea, which is a cow and and the other Yeah, what advice other advice would you like to give a company out there that you wish someone told you? Or you really think they need to know? Yeah, yeah,

Chris Youm 25:24

I think I can go first maybe, well, I have been like internationalization engineer for good amount of the years in here and add in San Francisco Silicon Valley so I will just say like bring up

well planned internationalization strategic is the best because like just in case I mean let me give you an example like holidays on holidays like for the social games The holidays are chance to get our extra revenue by selling the game items okay but are like a holidays a different country by country Okay, of course we do have with the holidays that has the same date like Christmas but like our Thanksgiving Thanksgiving in America is just it is big but just two or three days ago three days of the holidays but in China it's all an entire week is the holiday yeah and they spent this time I mean Chinese penta like millions and

Shawn Flynn 26:35

Singles Day first of all their holidays don't match up with the US that don't match up

dude why do you have any last minute things you'd like to say and then with the last we got about a minute please talk about yourselves one more time and your company yeah real quick

Junhwan Kang 26:51

yes so for sober I'm gonna ask her entrepreneur to get interested in Cape content a pop up a drama so why am I Why do I ask them so about things so actually why the Korea in in your city called your content is spread over Asia market okay it's cool it's kind of a stepping stone awesome

Shawn Flynn 27:19

yeah what's the best way to reach you guys

Chris Youm 27:20

yeah we have a LinkedIn and we also have our with psycho Versa Yeah, it's a website

Junhwan Kang 27:25

customization does page

Shawn Flynn 27:28

all right lot more information please visit them cosmic station dot space. You want more information, Silicon Valley, please visit silk advice. successes.com. Our next guest is Whitney Howard, who will talk about sales and startups. All right. Looking forward to senior next episode. Thank you.

Show Announcer 27:46

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