Student Success Story

Starting a business. Difficult, but a valuable life lesson

Younghoon CHOI

It’s not easy to give up stable life and go for a challenge. Student Younghoon CHOI (Business, 13’) started a mental care company, “Mind Breeze” based on his own experience of overcoming mental problems.

Student Younghoon CHOI needed to prepare for grades, exams, and living expense all by himself after finishing his military service. He experienced panic disorder due to the stress. It became very severe to the point that he had to give up his midterm exam. Luckily, he overcame this disorder and he started to question himself about what he really wants to do. He found start-up business as an answer to his questions. He decided to start a business in the field of ‘mental-care’ through his experience of suffering from panic disorder.

◈What does “Mind Breeze” do?

“Mind Breeze” is currently working on product, mobile application and contents. The name of the product is “maeum quecha” and it is a mental-care diary. It is a diary specialized in mental healthcare. He chose to develop this product after his own experience in using the diary to overcome mental difficulty. There are various versions of diary considering that people suffer from various types of mental problems. Each type has 70 question stickers related to the theme of the diary. He made the questions by researching relevant books and interviews. The prototype has been made and the crowd funding will soon begin.

The application is a “voice-based storytelling social media”. Users can record and share their story on the application and communicate by writing comments to each other. This was based on the idea that people receive mental support by sharing their thoughts with other people. CHOI himself was recovered when he shared his trouble with other people.

Contents are in forms of video clips, card news and essays. Most people tend to hide their mental problems feeling scared or rejected. However, more and more people are suffering from mental problems nowadays. Mind Breeze enabled people to watch and hear mental related contents on the popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.

◈University was a big help for starting a business

CHOI said that the contents that he learned in the Business Administration were helpful in starting a business. His knowledge in marketing, business strategy and organization management were practical on the business site. He realized that most of the theories learned in class were most useful for the CEOs of big companies but it still helped him run a start-up company. The most useful one were the classes in the study of entrepreneurship. It taught him the basic knowledge in starting a business and application skills for developing a new product.

“I learned how businesses start from scratch and application skills for starting a company. It also taught me the idea of ‘entrepreneurship’, which helped me live an autonomous life.”

He said that he received many support from the school; funding from the start-up club and practical education at start-up programs.

◈Fear of starting a business

We asked him if he wasn’t scare when he decided to start a business. He replied, “I’m always scared. I’m taking risks when my friends either got a stable job or earned a special license. However, I believe that this is the only time in my life that I can autonomously do what I want to do. I’m just going for it.” CHOI said that he was encouraged by other owners in various industries. He said that the most memorable advice was from a CEO of a bank: “At your age spending a year without success may seem very useless. However, when I look back, wasting a year during the 20s is not a big deal. So just go for it.”

CHOI said that he is learning more about himself every day. He discovered new things about himself. He is pondering on how to work enjoyably every day. He needs to think deeply every day as he needs to make new decisions by himself.

◈His goal

CHOI said that there is a high chance of failing a business and that it is more likely if it is a college student starting a business. His goal is to try his best even if his challenge ends up as a failure. He wants to get most out of this experience. He doesn’t want to regret wasting his valuable time and chance.

“Starting a business is really challenging but there are so many things to learn from the experience. It is a worthwhile challenge for college students. I recommend students to try it out after examining carefully.”