Startups Gangnam Style

By SUSAN LAHEY
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
20140310_190555Korea brought its first group of startups to SXSW in 2014, the Geeks from Gangnam, sponsored by the Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs and the Korea Creative Content Agency.

Offering products as creative as a Korean travel news app and an origami app called “Let’s Fold,” that lets people do origami virtually and competitively, the group is part of an entrepreneurial training program called D.Camp, a startup community ecosystem that helps incubate entrepreneurial companies.

Seokwon Yang, senior manager of business operations for D.Camp , photo by Susan Lahey

Seokwon Yang, senior manager of business operations for D.Camp , photo by Susan Lahey

Seokwon Yang, senior manager of business operations for D.Camp said SXSW has offered a fantastic opportunity for Korean entrepreneurs to make connections with potential customers, get a glimpse of how other parts of the world handle entrepreneurship and get a chance to demo their products.

Five thirty team, photo by Susan Lahey

Five thirty team, photo by Susan Lahey

Some parts of the startup culture are challenging for Koreans, he said. “Fail forward is not part of Korean culture,” he said. “If you fail in Korea, you feel like a loser. There is shame. You don’t want your friends and family to know. We need to learn ‘fail forward.’”

Tech Ranch sponsored a Geeks from Gangnam party with K-Pop bands from Korea and some of the Austin startup community leaders Monday night at Brass House.

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