On May 31-June 2, SUNY Korea hosted 'Startup Weekend Incheon' for the third year in a row. Over 40 students from prof Rosa Jeong's course at the Fashion Institute of Technology participated in the competition, under the theme of 'Sustainable Fashion Innovation.'
The SUNY Korea Business Management department partnered with FIT Korea's Business Management department to offer the event. Local sponsors Pakyoungsa and Muyokpub covered meals for the event, for the second year in a row. This time, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism also got on board; its cultural intelligence agency KCISA sponsored a slew of prizes. Finally, SUNY Korea and FIT Korea pitched in to offer gift cards for the winning teams.
Alberto Perera, a Spanish architect and founder of the Songdo chapter of Green Drinks network, helped to open the event as the keynote speaker, offering some insight about design and sustainability from an architectural perspective.
From over 40 pitches on Friday evening, nine teams emerged. Several pitched innovative ideas. DenimFit, Sierra Papa, and Recycar respectively described venture ideas about upcycling blue jeans, military uniforms, and automobiles into apparel or fashion accessories. BYTAG pitched about an interactive QR code to replace clothes tags. And CPR3 presented a platform where people could one day get their clothes repaired or reformed almost the same way that people today get their food sent via Uber Eats.
By 9:30pm on Sunday, DenimFit walked off as the winning team. CPR3 took second place, and Sierra Papa took third.
Chihmao Hsieh, Founding Director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship, emphasized his gratefulness for all the volunteer faculty and staff that made the event possible: "We had over a dozen people volunteer to help coach, judge, and coordinate this Startup Weekend. Meeta Roy, Seungwook Kim, and Rosa Jeong were all wonderful co-coordinators. For the first time, we had faculty from 4 of the 7 departments at SUNY Korea and FIT Korea join us to judge and coordinate the event. I hope that one day, we can finally corral faculty and students from Computer Science, Applied Math & Statistics, and Mechanical Engineering to partner with us and supercharge this event and create some lasting entrepreneurial spirit and startup activity on campus!" Professor Hsieh indicated that plans are underway to begin assessing the feasibility of creating a private institutional event whereby the top students from each SUNY Korea and FIT Korea department can travel to a Seoul venue and collaborate together for a similar weekend.
Written by: Professor Chihmao Hsieh