Just a two-minute walk from Sinsa station in Seoul, Korea, is newly launched TriBeluga, the brainchild of 28-year-old Lili Luo.
Located at 82 Naruteo-ro, Seocho-gu (Jamwon-dong), the Korea-based incubator has more to offer than just a space. At its official launch and opening last Thursday, Luo talked about her goal of helping Korean startups enter China with ample resources and mentors.
For example, TriBeluga will offer incubatees and partners classes on various topics important to a startup entering China, like localising user interface or how one should behave in front of government officials.
An official document read, “Doing business in China can be challenging to non-Chinese enterprises that are not used to the culture and business practices of China.”
While the incubator is looking to help Korean startups, there is no limitation on where the company or entrepreneur should hail from. However, it has three core areas of focus: environment, health care and education. These markets were identified as ones that can have the potential to impact the world in a positive manner, solve problems important to the typical person, and are targeted at people or organisations with spending power.
In Mandarin, Luo told the media and other guests present that luck is just one factor when it comes to creating success. Other necessary ingredients include tenacity and resilience. “Lastly, thank you for listening. If I have offended you, please bear with my lack of life experience. But we will go forward. … From here, we will walk towards Korea, walk towards China, walk towards the US, walk towards our goals.”
When asked about why TriBeluga had chosen its first stop to be Seoul, Korea, she said, “Korea is one of the most exciting growing countries. Friendship with China is at its peak. We have to catch the opportunity.”
Going forward, the incubator is looking to open a branch office in Beijing, China early next year. But Luo will not do it alone; she will be accompanied by eight advisors, including Strategy Advisor Andrew Lee; China Advisor Tsing Yu; and Legal Advisor Gary Ho, and four staffers.
Work hard comfortably
The physical space itself comes nothing short of being glamorous and polished. All 900 square meters of the six-storey building show just how much emphasis TriBeluga has put on startups being able to work hard comfortably.
Its third storey, for example, has an open workspace for startups, naps pods and a rest area. Go one floor up and these entrepreneurs will find another open workspace with an exercise room for yoga, and an open workspace with a game room and lounge on the fifth storey. In addition, the sixth storey features a kitchen and dining area with a rooftop garden deck ideal for outdoor grilling, parties and meetups.
Of course, the incubator’s unique and well put-together physical space is just a bonus; what entrepreneurs looking to enter China are really searching for is local knowledge, experience and guidance, which TriBeluga will be providing through its China curriculum.
Disclaimer: This author’s trip to Korea and accommodation in Seoul were covered by TriBeluga.