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‘Clear motive, vision key to successful start-ups’

‘Clear motive, vision key to successful start-ups’

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Published : 2013-12-06 20:43
Updated : 2013-12-09 14:46

A noted Korean venture capitalist said that entrepreneurs must have a clear motive and a vision before starting a company.

They must also have the ability to spot and solve problems. But above all, a great start-up must have a great team, said Jimmy Rim, CEO of K Cube Ventures, a venture capital fund established by Rim and Kim Beom-soo, founder of Kakao, the developer of mobile messenger KakaoTalk and other mobile communication platforms.

“What we first look at before investing in start-ups is the people, the team, and see whether they have the motive, the vision and the ability to confront years of challenges,” Rim told The Korea Herald.

Jimmy Rim.  (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
“Strictly speaking, having a passion for starting a company is not enough, and we never invest in a company started by one person. It must be a team of people who know and trust each other, and who have worked together before,” Rim stressed.

This is more important than entrepreneurs presenting the business plan for their start-ups before venture capitalists such as K Cube, which reviews about 1,000 proposals on average per year. It invested in 18 start-ups over the last year.

For instance, founders of Kids-note presented a clear vision for solving communication problems between kindergarten teachers and children’s parents through the development of mobile applications, Rim noted.

The start-up attracted K Cube’s 300 million won ($283,500) investment as its founders showed a strong will to get rid of the inefficiency stemming from teachers sending handwritten notes to parents.

Kidsnote created a smartphone app enabling real-time communication between the two parties. This app service became popular, and now 7,000 out of 50,000 kindergartens are using the app.

K Cube Ventures invested 350 million won in Fincon, an online-game developer, despite its failure to produce a commercial-hit game in the past.

“Still, we invested in Fincon’s people because their ability was proven and they had faith in each other,” CEO Rim said.

And Fincon’s next game, “Hello Hero,” became an instant success.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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