After Jung-hee Ryu successfully sold his company Olaworks to Intelhe wondered why talented engineers and inventors from Korea don’t start their own business rather than working for a big company. Meeting a number of engineers at Samsung and LG, as well as graduates of Korea’s top universities, he found a common problem they faced. “Although many had their own unique technology and ideas, and had even strongly considered doing their own business, the problem was that they don’t know how to build a company, then how to scale it until it goes to an IPO or gets acquired. Another barrier was the financial problem of supporting their family and providing for their children’s education.”

Ryu therefore decided to make a whole new platform for budding entrepreneurs. He told serial entrepreneurs that while the existing accelerators and co-working spaces focus on helping teams, “we will focus on the individual. We can help inventors or engineers start their business by offering an adequate salary and an office to work in. They will make awesome companies, even much more valuable than their Silicon Valley counterparts.”  This gave heart to people with ideas for a startup. “Some of them quit their job to join the team and one friend invested in the company and become an advisor.” Using his experience as an engineer, Ryu established FuturePlay, an incubator providing specialized programs for hardware engineers. 

FuturePlay, an Incubator and Venture Capital

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com