Glitters Day Out to MARU 180!

On Friday, November 11th, HUBS students made up of 17 international students and members of Glitters went on to a company visit to MARU 180. The participants met at the Business Building (경영대학), and moved together to the station.


MARU 180 is located near Yeoksam Station (역삼역) in Gangnam-gu (강남구). To briefly introduce MARU 180, its business model is closer to a social enterprise. Founded by Asan Nanum Foundation (아산나눔재단), MARU’s primary job is to incubate and foster start-up businesses physically and financially. Physically, MARU 180 provides office space for start-ups and rooms where they can hold events or meet partnering businesses. Financially, MARU 180 rents lends the office space in a fairly low price, and works as an intermediary agent between starting businesses and investment companies.


As the students arrived, the sign saying “HYU Exchange Student Visit” greeted them. Students are guided to the event hall on the basement floor. Several members of Glitters, who had already arrived, and staff from MARU 180 welcomed the students with sweet treats.


The session started right after everyone was seated. Firstly, HeeYoon Lee (이희연), the manager from MARU 180, introduced about the company. She told about the foundation of MARU 180 and its jobs. Also, she explained how MARU 180 supports start-up businesses and how the currently incubated businesses have been selected. Students got to understand that MARU 180 had been working in diverse sectors with its partnering industries, and does very meaningful and crucial works for the venture society.


After Manager Lee finished her session, the three start-ups came up to the stage, and had time to introduce their own businesses. The name of the first company was ProtoPie. ProtoPie was an IT business trying to solve lingual conflicts between engineers and designers. One of the biggest conflicts that happen when designing mobile applications or websites is that designers are unable to deliver the visual images to the engineers in technological terms. Therefore, ProtoPie provides services in which the designer can build prototypes without coding knowledge.


The next company was Alive. Alive is a video editing application, which users can add captions, sounds, graphics into videos. It became widely known after Apple had ranked it the first place on iOS video app category. The CEO explained that most of its heavy users are young generations in the U.S. He also showed some sample videos to the students. The application had more options than other ordinary editing applications, and seemed very convenient to access.


The last company to present was Three Claps. Three Claps is an online shopping mall selling girls’ outfits. The company collaborate with over 100 fashion designers from Dongdaemun market. It focuses on fast fashion. What was interesting was that its main target is the US customers. Until recently, the US market for children’s outfits are dominated by the three major retailers, and most of them make profits through other retail stores or wholesalers. But, Three Claps only sell through the online channel, thus reduced cost. Also, most of its customers showed high satisfaction. The CEO explained the reason for customers’ such low refund rate is because its customers(mothers) are different from the users(children), and the users have no options, but just wear what their mothers have purchased.

The three presenters passionately introduced their own business models, and had a Q&A session with HYU students. Lots of talks went on between the three presenters and the students. The questions ranged from simple curiosity, such as how to select new employees, to serious business related queries. What was common among the three companies was that they are all working on the internet-based sectors. Also, their main targets were not domestic Korean customers.


After the first session was over, the students had the chance to explore the 5-story building of MARU 180. Guided by Manager Lee, they got to see the real office space, how the incubated businesses are working. She explained the jobs and the purposes of funding companies and the utility of each floor. Students got to learn about the culture and the reality of Korean start-ups. They could imagine what it would be like to work at a start-up company in South Korea. Overall, it was very satisfactory and worthy time for both Korean and international students. Thank you again to MARU 180, for spending precious time for the future entrepreneurs!



Article by Sangeun from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration

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