On September 30th, the DFK hosted the very first event from its Startup Talk series. Led by the founder of Eased Design, Jiwon (Julie) Yoon gave a workshop on her journey as a young entrepreneur. The workshop began with an introduction to how she became interested in creating solar-powered bags and her research which led to finding certain needs by her target customers – cosmopolitans needed a practical bag which could charge their electronic devices. Not only did she envision a practical solution, but decided to provide an intimate approach by providing handmade bags to the market. Each one of the bags are handmade, and can be customized to the client’s specifications. In order to achieve this, Jiwon explained the various stages of her ideation process: from taking classes on how to create leather bags to procuring the materials herself, Jiwon emphasized how it’s important to have a strong grasp on every detail of the product.
"Most people want to create startups, but they never start."
Is this bespoke yet technologically advanced product what the current market needs? Once her concept had a Minimally Viable Product (MVP), she pitched her ideas to various investors. Based on her extensive research on the market and technical expertise, Jiwon was able to secure funds from a Korean startup agency. Jiwon described how it is essential to be confident and passionate about your idea, and explain to the judges why you are the only one who has the knowledge or abilities to create a certain product.
Jiwon then continued to show students a video of her entire process, from creating the bag to employing models to promote her products. The founder of Eased provided tips on how to promote your products on social media, as well as fostering a sustainable brand identity. Students were attentive to her more casual talk on how to get inspired and become proactive. Jiwon’s tips were to keep an observant eye towards society – try and find solutions to problems that you might not face. Additionally, she expressed that it is important to ask others for their opinions, not to seek validity but to see how the initial concept could be improved upon. To conclude, it is key to stay updated with current startup opportunities offered by both private and state institutions, and be proactive in the startup scene by networking and sharing ideas.
Various workshops are present in Zer01ne Day | photo by Joon
The workshop ended with a Q&A session in which students were eager to approach the founder and ask their individual questions. Although not many signed up, a surprising number of attendees showed up to the workshop. The workshop was conducted in a more cozy environment, which students enjoyed a casual setup and were more involved in the dialogue. Faculty members also stopped by for the session, and professor Chad Denton (Head of our Career Development Center) was particularly pleased so see Jiwon’s concept become a reality and that she was sharing her experiences with future creatives! Professor Hyunsang Kim was also intrigued by the courage and achievements Jiwon made during her career as an entrepreneur.
Poster for Eased startup talk
"Everything I did, it was for the first time. It was very stressful, but I'm glad I did it."
DFK would like to thank Jiwon for sharing her valuable experiences to fellow students and inspiring them to become future entrepreneurs. We would like to thank the students and faculty members who attended the session, and we look forward to seeing more students joining the upcoming sessions.