Sunbo Angel Partners UNIST Office & GIST Office
Since Sunbo Angel Partners' Ulsan National Institutue of Science and Technology (UNIST) Branch opened its door in 2017, university campuses have begun to show interest in founding startup companies. This change also occurred in the other tech university, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) due to the Sunbo Angel Partners GIST Branch. Sunbo Angel Partners was at the center of change in research-focused universities.
CEO of a private investment company moving freely across the campus
In January 2017, the CEO of a private investment company made au unusual attempt to live on a university campus. It started when Sunbo Angel Partners' Ulsan Branch moved into Unit 808, of UNIST Businiess Administration Building. CEO Choi Young-chan signed an MOU for innovative technology startups with UNIST in 2016. Until the Ulsan Branch became stabilized, he lived in the university's dormitory with employees for one year. As UNIST had world-class technology in a variety of innovation technology fields such as secondary batteries and graphene, we expected that numerous startups were already founded. However, the atmosphere was totally different from our expectations. Even when a startup retains the most cutting-edge technology, it is difficult to succeed only with technology. To succeed in a business, technology should be refined for industry like the process of refining and polishing of gemstones (business modeling), and investment should be attracted. However, it was not easy for professors, graduate school students, and PhD students who had previously devoted themselves to research only. None of them understood the industrial network or business models, or had ever attracted an investment before. It was an unfamiliar territory which made it difficult for them to launch a startup. CEO Choi Young-chan opened an office on campus in order to support investment by meeting with laboratories and research teams with generic technology and discussing business more often. We provided support to university startup clubs and provided provided technology commercialization education for professors, graduate school students, PhD students, and employees and executives of middle-standing enterprises in Ulsan, so as to establish a foundation for startups and to persuade them in earnest.