YESF continues to pave the path for promising Korean business startups

  • Aims to become the best enterprise incubator in Asia.
  • Over 150 startups have found success since 1998 when YESF was first created.

In the 1990s the Yonsei University recognized the growing number of startup businesses, a trend which was inspiring students to start their own ventures. It launched the Yonsei Enterprise Support Foundation (YESF) in 1998, a branch that encourages students to explore and implement their innovative ideas into startups. Funded by the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups (MSS), as well as Yonsei University, YESF supports aspiring entrepreneurs through a three-step process — the startup foundation-building step, business planning & commercialization step and prep entrepreneur step – that ensures complete support from ideation stage to actualization.

Making dreams a reality through funding and mentoring

Under the Business Initiation (BI) Project, students get the opportunity to listen to lectures and participate in startup clubs and contests to open up their minds to entrepreneurship. Cafes and working spaces allow students the right atmosphere to create and see their ideas to completion. The foundation reinforces industry-university collaborations programs and runs customized incubation programs for every step of the startup, as well as nurtures global programs. 

The excellent Human resources and infrastructure at YESF allow students to explore and commercialize their business ideas. YESF provides office space for students whose business plans and ideas are selected. These entries can stay for two and a half years with business, equipment and facility support from the school.

YESF provides numerous materials and financial support for a group of three or more students who are attending college within Seoul. It provides funds to test products which are an average of 2,000,000 won for every team. There are seminar rooms, projectors, cameras, and laptops that can be used for free by the budding entrepreneurs. Moreover, the team that is recognized as an outstanding group gets linked with a start-up initiation program to actualize their idea into a business.

Success stories

A number of start-ups have successfully consolidated their businesses with the help of YESF. The college-student application Everytime, or Stubbyplanner, one of Korea’s largest vacation planner application, and the mobile game company DGFrog were conceived at YESF. The foundation also contributes to businesses regarding finance, education, games, etc. It was selected as the Leading University for supporting lab startups by the Ministry of Science and ICT in 2018. The startup recruiting fair held on campus gives a chance for young entrepreneurs to be hand-picked by investors and corporations, thereby bringing them closer to fulfilling their dream. In 2018, 78 startups and 20,000 job seekers attended the recruitment fair.

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