Young entrepreneurial minds from around the world gathered under one roof. The first urban innovation start-up competition for city entrepreneurs, or "citypreneurs", took place this week in Seoul.
The goal of these so-called "citypreneurs" is to tackle urban problems, taking a step toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations.
"Young people are going to be the beneficiaries and sufferers of our actions and inactions that we take today, and by engaging them now, we're drawing them into finding solutions that work for all, and particularly for them."
30 out of 150 teams from 65 countries were selected under three main categories: education, transportation and environment, and health.
The participants were put under the microscope, with start-up CEOs, venture capitalists, and senior public officials questioning them on the compatibility, profitability, and business potential of their start-up ideas.
Three winning teams were selected and rewarded with some 20-thousand US dollars of funding to carry out their projects. The winning projects were urban wind generators, an educational app that helps prevent Alzheimer's, and an app that makes otherwise costly cognitive education for children available for free.
"Right now cognitive education in hospitals or special centers is very costly, around 50 to 100 US dollars an hour. We can make such education available for anyone with mobile phones. Every kid can exercise their rights to get good cognitive education."
"The competition itself was quite competitive. But I think the top three that emerges emerged because they were very strong on building an inclusive and sustainable world."
Although this year's competition focused on just three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the organizing bodies hope that it will further motivate young people to find innovative ideas that connect the other development goals.
Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News