On December 29th and 30th, 2023, WFUNA Seoul Office organized the Global College Startup Impact Hackathon (GCSIH), a solution-oriented business competition that unites young entrepreneurs to develop business models tackling societal challenges in Korea and Japan, with Gachon Startup College, Gachon University.
Drawing participation from 10 distinguished universities – University of Tokyo, Hosei University, Meiji University, Hitotsubashi University, Seoul National University, Chung-Ang University, KAIST, Korea University, Yonsei University, and Gachon University – this marked the first global hackathon co-organized by WFUNA. The event brought together 34 participants from Korea and 28 from Japan, fostering a collaborative and innovative experience.
On the first day of the program, young entrepreneurs had the chance to pitch their existing business models to the potential investors in Korea and Japan. The subsequent networking session encouraged teams to introduce themselves and engage in conversations with invited investors and mentors. Additionally, WFUNA Seoul Office led the Impact Session, featuring a motivational lecture by Yongjae Kim (Chief Regional Coordinator of WFUNA Seoul Office), on the importance and potential of pursuing sustainable development goals (SDGs) for startups in the Asia-Pacific region, along with a tutorial session for learning the SDGs Toolkit. During the main 20-hour Hackathon event, all participants were blended into nine teams representing various nationalities and colleges collaborated to craft innovative business models targeting societal challenges in both Korea and Japan. Mentors from various fields, including IT, Marketing, Blockchain, Education, Marketing Academia, and international organizations offered valuable insights to assist the teams.
On the second day, each team presented their final business models and received constructive feedback from the judges. The 2023 GCSIH concluded with a Cultural Night, providing participants with meals, refreshments, and a casual setting for further interactions.
The Grand Prize of 3 million Korean won was awarded to CareLink, a mobile application healthcare platform designed to help caregivers efficiently manage patients through centralized data. Together with Grand prize, total 9 million KRW was awarded to young entrepreneurs from Korea and Japan.
Building on the success of the first global hackathon with Korean and Japanese entrepreneurs, we plan to extend the GCSIH program to China in 2024, aiming to render the program as a robust springboard for bolstering the innovative startup ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific region.
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