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4th CALS Startup Competition
On June 12, 2017, the 4th CALS Startup Competition award ceremony was held in the Yoon Dae-Seop conference room of the CALS building. The contest was developed to stimulate the interest, professionalism, and growth of potential entrepreneurs equipped with creative ideas and cutting-edge technology. All students and graduate students enrolled in CALS were qualified for this competition, with a minimum of one student per entry from CALS.
Applications for the CALS Startup Competition are received at the beginning of the academic year; business proposals are then reviewed by the selection board, comprised of professors from the Student Planning Committee and experts from the Startup Incubation Center. Teams that pass the first round get an education opportunity to improve their business proposals prior to the final submission. The final round requires applicants to give a presentation in front of the board. The winning team is supported with assistance for the technical evaluation and patent application, and/or consulting on the business launch and commercialization.
For this year’s competition, participants were trained for two months, from April 1 to May 31. A total of six teams competed. Team Space Jelly (Ji-Hun Kim from the Horticultural Science and Biotechnology Program and three others) won First Prize and received 3 million in KRW startup funding for their project, entitled “Smart Terrarium for Growing My Own Pet Plant.” Team Parkri (Gwan-Yong Park from the Department of Applied Biology and Chemistry and one other) won Second Prize with their project, “Take-out Salad Store Based On Urban Agriculture.” Third-place prizes went to two teams: Betterbas (Dong-Uk Kim from the Department of Vocational Education and Workforce Development and two others) and Beyond Imagination (Ui-Cheol Bang from the Department of Environmental Material Science and one other).
Participants displayed great potential based on innovative ideas that might have been taught beyond the classroom. Ji-Hun Kim of Space Jelly said that he chose to be an entrepreneur, as he had a “liberal personality” and was interested in a wide range of topics. He is currently researching a long-living “pet plant,” one that could survive bouts of human neglect. Kim is developing a convenient kit containing LEDs, chemical components, and sensors to keep the plant healthy without watering for 1-2 months. Considering the increasing abandonment of animal pets—more than 80,000 each year—he envisioned that his long-lived “pet plant” would be an alternative solution for animal pets.
Kim said that even though the agriculture field might not be considered as mainstream, it can still be competitive. He also pressed that “thinking differently” can be a key to the success. We hope that the Startup Competition would help students at CALS keep generating new ideas and consider entrepreneurship paths.
Student Reporter Na, Hye-ji / Lim, Dabin