Today, I’m excited to announce that I’m joining Techstars as Managing Director of Techstars Korea Accelerator in partnership with Hillstone Partners. This is Techstars’ first-ever accelerator program in Korea focused on supporting and nourishing the local startup ecosystem in Pangyo, Korea.
After nearly three years in Los Angeles serving as a Founding Managing Partner at ELEVEN:ZULU Capital, I returned to Korea in 2018 to pursue my life mission – to empower extraordinary founders to do awesome things. To do so, I took a role as Managing Director of BEYOND STARTUP, a startup incubator in Seoul under the Seoul Business Agency. When I learned of Techstars arrival in Korea earlier this year, and their mission to help entrepreneurs succeed, I took it as a calling to pursue the position.
Being a three-time founder myself, I have an affinity to share my knowledge with other entrepreneurs as they pursue their mission to create new and influential solutions. In the creation of my first venture – EICG, a boutique strategy and consultancy agency – we developed a strategy framework called the “Fan-Oriented Strategy” that elaborates on how a company can win a market over competitors with superior capabilities. This venture was the beginning of my love of being a founder. Applying my expertise in growing successful businesses, both through EICG and as a venture capitalist, I am confident that the first class of Techstars Korea will have the right tools to create cutting-edge and innovative solutions.
While this program is open to startups in any tech vertical, I’m keen to work with startup founders who have a strong vision with growth potential. More specifically, I see three major categories that startups may fall into during our application process (though it is not necessarily required):
- Enterprise Tech: I’m very interested in enterprise software because of its global scale. There’s no such thing as Korean-only enterprise software. If you can create the right solution, it has the potential for mass adoption.
- Human-Device Interaction: I’m also interested in companies focused on human-device interfaces. As tech solutions change, so will the way we interact with that tech. We’ve already seen major advancements, but more are on the horizon.
- Lifestyle Tech: Companies that have a vision for changing the way humans perform daily life tasks. This is a very broad category and can fall in many tech verticals. The key aspect is that your technology changes the way things have historically been accomplished.
The Korean startup ecosystem is extremely active and is also very firmly supported by the Government of Korea, a major benefit as they provide investment and resources to founders building solutions within the country. Korea also has a large pool of talent that is expanding, as well as a culture that has moved on from valuing working for large institutions, now wanting to work for the “next Google” or create the next big tech company. All of these factors will contribute to a ripe environment for our recruiting efforts.
The accelerator program will be hosted at the Pangyo Techno Valley campus (PTV), a business and innovation hub, known locally as the Silicon Valley of Korea. Techstars Korea is accepting applications through March 1st, and the program will run June 2020 through September 2020. Please visit the Techstars Korea program page to learn more and apply.