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Korean entrepreneurs share experience in U.S. startups

All News 16:46 April 12, 2016

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- Two of the most successful South Korean venture businessmen in the United States on Tuesday emphasized the importance of the spirit of challenge and good advisors for any attempt to follow their example.

Chung Se-joo, head of New York-based Noom Inc., said he decided to launch a startup in the U.S. to evade fierce competition for the so-called "spec," local jargon meaning the study or career experiences listed on the resume of a jobseeker.

His company is known for a weight-loss app, dubbed "Noom Coach," that has recorded more than 28 million downloads worldwide.

He recommended Silicon Alley in Manhattan to Korea's young people hoping to do new businesses in the U.S.

"In Silicon Alley, there was a total of US$3.7 billion in investment in the first half of last year alone. It's growing faster than Silicon Valley, posting a whopping 483 percent growth over the five years till 2014," he pointed out in a special lecture at the Green Factory, the headquarters of Naver in Bundang, just south of Seoul.

Naver, South Korea's leading internet service provider, hosted the event as part of its campaign to promote South Korea's startup ecosystem and help local startups go global.

Silicon Alley, Chung said, is an excellent place to launch startups, as many talented people from various countries are flowing there. It also offers opportunities for convenient meetings with investment firm officials and financial managers, he added.

On his own vision, Chung said he plans to do more to contribute to public healthcare via the expansion of the Noom Coach service to monitor health information related to cancer and renal failure as well.

Speaking after him, Lee Sang-won, CEO of Qeexo Co., a finger-sensing touch screen maker based in Silicon Valley, said what's important is to secure good advisors.

"For startups, trials and errors in investment and other procedures could be fatal," he said. "In order to prevent that, (you) should hire the best employees of talent in the industry. If employment is difficult, you'd better work with them as advisors."

Qeexo's touch technology is used in China's Huawei smartphones.


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