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Asan Nanum to launch venture capital fund for CEO hopefuls

More than 200 policymakers, industry specialists and startup founders gathered on Friday at a forum in Seoul to discuss ways to boost venture capital funding and foster healthy business environments for young entrepreneurs.

The Asan Nanum Foundation, a charity run by Hyundai Heavy Industries and its affiliates, hosted the one-day event as the latest in a string of its programs to back startup hopefuls in Korea. 
Rep. Chung Mong-joon, founder of the Asan Nanum Foundation, speaks at an entrepreneurship forum organized by the charity in Seoul on Friday. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)
Rep. Chung Mong-joon, founder of the Asan Nanum Foundation, speaks at an entrepreneurship forum organized by the charity in Seoul on Friday. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)

Among the participants were the charity’s founder and ruling party lawmaker Chung Mong-joon, Small & Medium Business Administrator Song Jong-ho, Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business head Kim Ki-mun, Genic chief executive Yoo Hyun-oh and Kookmin University professor Kim Do-hyun.

“The forum will contribute to invigorating the entrepreneurial spirit in young talents,” said Han Jeong-hwa, a professor at Hanyang University who chaired the event’s steering committee.

At the forum, Chung, the shipbuilder’s largest stakeholder, announced the charity will soon launch a venture capital fund for promising CEO hopefuls.

“I believe what our youngsters want is soil on which they can freely make their own choices and decisions and exert their potential and opportunities as much as possible,” he said, adding that the ideas exchanged at sessions would be put into action over time.

Chung initiated the Asan Nanum Foundation in October along with heads of Hyundai Heavy affiliates with 500 billion won ($443.7 million). Asan is the pen name of late Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung.

Last year, the charity created youth volunteer corps, opened internship programs and installed an institution at Soongsil University in Seoul to provide lectures, training and consultation for students hoping to start their own business.

It aims for an extra 15 units of such facilities nationwide in the coming years and perk up angel investment in collaboration with the SMBA and other state agencies, Hyundai officials said.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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