British Council Creative Economy

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5 July 2015

Korean start-ups come to London

This week we're hosting an exciting and diverse group of Korean start-ups who have come to the UK to meet some great creative social enterprises.

The Liminal Space

Inspiration and connections are the order of the week as we welcome eight Korean startups to London for the latest phase of our UK-Korea Catalyst programme.  

Among the group is Joong Yeol Park, the co-founder of Jerrybag, a social enterprise that develops sustainable local products to raise awareness of water issues working with local communities in Uganda. 

Jerrybag sources their materials from markets in Kampala and works with local women to produce them. They also work with a number of international NGOs to provide the bags free of charge to the communities who need them most. To supplement this work Jerrybag also produces high-quality, fashionable cloth bags that they sell in to international customers in Korea and Europe.

Also visiting is Hyekyung Hwang, CEO of Hivearena, a co-working space set up in November 2014 with the ambition to foster a ‘Tech for Good’ community. Hivearena has built up a expanding loyal community of 20 core members, including hardware engineers, media artists, software programmers, interior architects and startups such a Kiddly who develop products to promote a ‘Kids Maker Culture’. This growth is pretty incredible considering they are one of only a handful of privately run spaces, competing with the many government supported hubs that are able to offer their space for free.

The eight have been selected for the trip through our partners the Korea Foundation, and they'll be will be visiting some of London’s leading hubs such as MakerversityImpactHub and Limewharf, and the ground-breaking Wayra-UnLtd, an accelerator for digital start-ups that have the power to improve society. 

The entrepreneurs are also going to be visiting inspirational creative and social startups such as WeFarm, ‘The internet for people with no internet’ – a pioneering social enterprise, launching a peer to peer knowledge sharing platform for small-scale farmers in rural communities in Africa and Latin America.  They'll also check out Special Projects, a product design and invention studio that creates innovative products and services by fusing the physical and digital worlds. You can see the full programme, which has been put together by partners The Liminal Spacehere.

Find out more about the rest of the Korean entrepreneurs here:

Sungho Choo - VentureSquare

A startup accelerator, hub between startups investors and specialists in startup media, bringing the latest news, trends and analysis of Korean Startups.

Jihye Ahn - ETHRICA

A rookie fashion designer's brand attempting to reinterpret and express African impression of colors and feelings.

Joo Hyung Lee - Userhabit

A solution that records and analyses the usage information of application users for better usability of mobile applications.

Miho Heo - Weenu

A social enterprise which aims to bring more diversity and creativity to the community by being the platform for unknown arts to unknown audiences.

Yuha Jin - Tella

An affordable English tutoring platform connecting English native speaking tutors in English speaking countries and English learners in non-native countries.

Yunbae Kim - Playplanet

A startup promoting sustainable travel by connecting travellers to local people, in order to benefit local communities, protect the environment, and conserve local culture.

This UK visit is the second half of a programme which saw ten UK creative and social entrepreneurs visiting South Korea in late November 2014, as part of a British Council Creative Economy partnership with the Korea Foundation and Creative England.  Tom Metcalfe, Design Consultant and Co-Founder of new startup Rain Cloud shared his insights of the trip, including the phenomenon of Korean unicorns (an increasingly common sight), the speed of the growth of the Korean creative economy and the importance of user experience design. Watch this space to find out the reflections young Korean startups have of London.