• Need to Learn MassChallenge’s Public Service, Competition Model and Mentoring
    2018-09-17 hit 639

    Need to Learn MassChallenge’s Public Service, Competition Model and Mentoring


    -  KITA, needs to differentiate start-up fostering models to cooperate with global AC and to foster specialist group -



    Some argue that Korea needs to expand cooperation with Global Accelerators (AC) and foster industry-government-academia experts specialized in start-ups by benchmarking the success case of MassChallenge of the United States that provides pro bono supports for the start-ups with great industrial impact and social problem-solving capabilities.



    According to the 'Keys to Success of the Global Accelerator MassChallenge and Implications’ issued by the Institute for the International Trade (President, Shin Seung-kwan) of the Korea International Trade Association, MassChallenge is a non-profit global accelerator that provides pro bono supports and nurtures start-ups with a view to addressing social issues and challenges. Since its establishment in 2010 it has contributed to fostering 1,500 start-ups and creating 95,000 direct and indirect jobs in 81 countries through the seven major cities in five cities, including its headquarters in Boston as their base.


    The report selected  the promotion of public service, establishment of start-up competition model and operation of mentoring specialists group as the keys to success of MassChallenge. MassChallenge focuses on solving social problems rather than on commercial value and profit making, and provides a variety of infrastructure and services free of charge, without the assumption of acquiring shares or management rights of the start-ups. With this philosophy, MassChallenge has developed start-ups like Ginkgo Bioworks, which has grown into a unicorn company, by combining microbial organisms based on genetic engineering with various industries such as cosmetics, food, pharmaceuticals and clothing.



    MassChallenge is also actively plays a role to make tangible performances such as participating in start-up projects and finding investors by running a group of experts consist of some 1,000 members, including entrepreneurs, professors, lawyers, accountants, and investors. 


    In particular, 'Challenge Program', which is called the 'World Olympics of Start-Ups', is a start-up competition model that MassChallenge massively supports finally selected companies after the screening process of 5000 participating start-ups every year. It appears that the start-ups selected by MassChallenge are 2.5 times more likely to attract investment over $ 500,000 and three times more likely to hire more than 15 employees than other start-ups.


    The report states, "In order for Korea to establish sustainable start-up support system, it is required to change the ways to view the start-up ecosystem and support." It also stresses, "Korea needs to strive to change its point of view on start-up ecosystem, connect global infrastructures and find and foster start-up support experts at the level of government and support organizations. And, start-ups need to have a global mindset."


    Park Soyeong, a senior researcher at the Institute for International Trade of the Korea International Trade Association, said, "Korean start-up support agencies need to consider strategic alliances with global accelerators such as MassChallenge. It is important to find and nurture professionals who can be actually helpful in the field of investment attraction by forming partnership and mentorship with start-ups and systemically manage them."

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