“We are trying to come up with a realistic solution to help startups to relocate overseas. We are going to completely reimagine what people have done so far. We are going to determine what startups truly need.”
Steven Baek, FuturePlay
Founded in early 2014, FuturePlay focuses on funding early-stage tech startups. The company believes that in order to understand the market properly and have a solid basis, a startup company needs more than an acceleration period of 3-months. By combining incubator, accelerator, and venture capital, FuturePlay offers a paid, 12-month intensive program for talented entrepreneurs.
“In Korean society it is not easy for people to take a risk of doing a startup. It is ok until you fail. If you fail that’s where the problem comes in. We want to reduce the chances of failure, and offer support when it happens.”
In Korean society failure and mistakes are not socially accepted. For those who are talented and are hired by big corporations, they are less likely to pursue their own company for fear of disappointing family and friends through failures and the lack of stability that entrepreneurs have to face. Hence, FuturePlay reduces these unknowns by offering a yearly salary to those who join the program. Incidentally, it’s a similar figure to the one they used to be paid at their previous positions.
“We don’t call ourselves an accelerator. We are “Company building Company. And if we had to fall into any of those categories, we would be probably closest to an incubator.”
Within the year-long program FuturePlay organizes 24 classes in 12 weeks. It teaches entrepreneurs how to set up a team, how to overcome legal implications and protect intellectual property. Additionally, FuturePlay hires one specialist per field that guides founders throughout their efforts. These fields, include Marketing and PR, Engineering, Design, Product Development, Prototyping.