Junction, a Finnish nonprofit organization that has successfully organized world-leading hackathons in Europe since 2015, hopes to expand its presence in Korea.
As a part of this process, the Junction former Head of Global Operations Antti Hammainen will be visiting Korea and participate in EXIT Daejeon 2019, global startup event that will be held at Daejeon Convention Center from May 21 to 23. More details on the event are available at http://www.startup-exit.com.
Junction former Head of Global Operations Antti Hammainen (second from left, back row)
“I have been involved in Junction since 2016, in various roles. Last year, my role was to be the former Head of Global Operations and we started our global program called JunctionX, which happened also in Seoul for the first time last weekend,” Hammainen told The Investor in an email interview.
He added that he now focuses more on using his connections to spread the word on Junction and JunctionX further globally. During the first year of global operations, Junction expanded to major cities including Beijing, Hanoi, Jeddah and Budapest.
At the EXIT event, Hammainen will be delivering a speech and also take part in round table discussions.
Below are the excerpts from the interview.
KH: What are you expecting from EXIT 2019 Daejeon?
Hammainen: I’m coming with an open mind and great interest in the local tech scene. I’m really eager to meet with the local people.
Q: What do you plan to cover during your talk on May 23?
A: We will have a discussion about hackathons, and why they are meaningful when worked together with the local organizers, like JunctionX Seoul. We’ll discuss it from both sides, participating and organizing. Hopefully, we’ll be able to give the audience a glimpse of what hackathons are and how they can change lives.
Q: Do you think it’s important to hold events like EXIT?
A: Definitely. These kinds of events are vital for young people to be able to showcase their own skills and abilities. Slush and Junction have changed the whole tech scene in Finland during the past 10 years and it is left to see if the same thing will happen in South Korea as well.
Q: How much do you know about the Korean startup industry?
A: I know some of the most famous startups, and of course the biggest industry players such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai, you name it. But I have never visited South Korea so I hope I’ll get to meet the startups on this trip.
Q: Do you think Korean startups and tech developers also have potential in the global market?
A: South Korea is highly appreciated country with one of the most innovative cultures. There is a lot of demand for products and services coming from South Korea.
Q: What opportunities do you plan on offering to startups who participate in EXIT event?
A: I hope to give an alternative perspective on the problems the startups are facing. I’m not a VC myself so the things I see can be really different from the VCs.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org