Weekly VentureSquare Stories are summaries of some of the week’s top posts relating to the Korean startup and venture Industry.
Boypobysoft – Going Against the Norm
While Android and Apple phones may be the preferred platforms in Korea, this is not to say that there are no Windows mobile developers. Chunbae Kim is the founder of Boypobysoft, a company which has been developing apps primarily for Windows mobile. The startup currently has three apps on the market, all of them guides to Seoul’s famous palaces. The apps are available in Korean and English but due to demand it plans to offer translations in Chinese and Japanese also. The UI of the app is colorful and cute with interactive options such as a “race course” and “stickers” which can be earned. Though the company is focused on Windows phones, it will be releasing Android and iPhone versions of the application in the near future.
The Second TWiST Seoul Pitch Competition
In the 2nd week of December the TWiST Seoul Pitch Competition will be held. TWiST stands for ‘This Week in Startups’ and is a popular web broadcast made by successful entrepreneur Jason Calacanis covering new startups and related news. TWiST gives new entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their startups and get global exposure. The coming competition will be judged by a panel of successful VCs and entrepreneurs with the winner having the chance to go to the LAUNCH conference in San Francisco, with travel expenses paid. The deadline to apply is December 6th. Click here for more details.
Hanintel.com – Helping Users find Homes away from Home
Jeju Island has often been considered an easy get-away spot for Koreans. It is convenient to get to and travel around but most of all it is not difficult to find accommodation. However, with more people travelling overseas on vacation every year, and the price of hotels high, the demand for cheap accommodation overseas is growing. Hanintel has sought to create a place where Koreans residing overseas can help out follow Koreans who might be in the country looking for a place to stay. With a large user base in New York, the site has now spread to other cities, not just in the U.S but also in Canada and Europe. Check out the website at Hanintel.com.
Youku – Outdoing Youtube and Television
Youku is a Chinese video sharing service which officially launched in late 2006. The site grew rapidly and currently has over 1,500 content partners. The site is a leader in China and takes approximately 40% of the market share in the online video market. Additionally, the site receives over 200 million visitors per day and is the third largest company in China. The site boasts surprisingly fast speeds within China, especially compared to speeds of overseas websites. This has made the platform a hit with the 19-25 age group who use it to view TV programs and movies. Traffic has recently increased even further as the government clamps down on inappropriate content shown on television.
Developing Software – Will Money Solve the Problem?
Opinion – Shin Seung-hwan
It’s lucky that developers are now being seen as important and that they need to be treated right. Nevertheless, if software development is not revived, we continue to only focus on hardware developers and developers are not paid for what they are worth, I consider the outlook on Korea’s future in software very gloomy.