NEW Ajou Enters Agreements on Strengthening System of Partnership for Tech Startups
Ajou University has recently entered a series of agreements designed to enhance the partnership system for fostering campus-based tech startups.
On July 24, Ajou signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea Bio Investment Partners [KHTC1](KOBAI). Parties to the memorandum included the University’s Start-up Support Foundation and the Industrial-Academic Cooperation Center as well as N4U Tech Holdings Incorporated. Attending the signing ceremony were Oh Yeong-tae, head of both the Industrial-Academic Cooperation Center and the Start-up Support Foundation; Lee Gi-chil, CEO of KOBAI; and Kim Su-dong, executive director of N4U.
Through the memorandum, the parties agreed to work together in supporting tech startups through initial and follow-up investment, entrepreneurial training, sustainable growth strategies, and global expansion; developing programs for fostering entrepreneurship and job creation in advanced industries, including biotechnology and artificial intelligence; promoting exchange between members through a committee to be established; and sharing existing infrastructure, such as the University’s makerspace, for policy projects.
KOBAI is a new investment company specializing in early investment and customized entrepreneurial support for tech startups in Korea and abroad, and focuses on advanced industries, particularly biotechnology and artificial intelligence.
Mr. Oh remarked: “This is a significant moment as Ajou University is the first government-registered technology accelerator to partner with KOBAI, particularly with the goal of facilitating innovation in biotechnology and healthcare, two of Ajou’s core areas of focus today.” He went on, “We at the University will continue to recruit new investors and expand our network of investment in order to establish a specialized and highly advanced system of collaboration between the Start-up Support Foundation, the Industrial-Academic Cooperation Center, and N4U, toward maximizing partnership synergy.”
Another MOU was signed between Ajou’s LINC+ Group, Start-up Support Foundation, and N4U, on the one hand, and the Korea Drug Research Association (KDRA), on the other, on July 29, for the joint management of a biotechnology and healthcare project.
The MOU emphasized collaboration over fostering startups in biotechnology and healthcare and recruiting investors for them; supporting business-tailored projects and technology transfers; working together on providing industrial-academic collaboration-based education and training (on-the-job and entrepreneurial alike) to develop a highly skilled workforce; increasing cooperation in the form of joint research and marketization; and promoting exchange between members through a committee.
The signing ceremony was followed by Prospective Biotech Startup Investment Forum [KHTC2]2020, which highlighted opportunities for partnership between Korean investors and prospective biotech startups.
Ajou’s LINC+ Group, Start-up Support Foundation, and N4U Tech Holdings, which together have undertaken the COVID-19 Rapid Call Project, also took on the task of recruiting prospective startups deserving of investment. Eight Ajou-affiliated enterprises, including Cell & Bio Inc., introduced their technologies at the forum and networked with investors. The COVID-19 Rapid Call Project encompasses all initiatives by Ajou towards enhancing collaboration between businesses and local communities to mount effective responses to the current pandemic.