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Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley
Sungmoon Cho, Product Manager at Sun Microsystems
Electrical Engineering at SNU
MBA at UCLA Anderson
Four Factors of Entrepreneurship
People (Smart, Motivated, Risk-taking)
Top Engineering Schools: Stanford University, Berkeley University, UCLA, UCSD, Cal-Tech, Cal-Poly
Majority of those pursuing advanced degree at Stanford are from China, India, Korea, and eastern Europe
As shown in TechCrunch50 (http://www.techcrunch50.com), a lot of entrepreneurs are actually from outside of the U.S.
Engineers at top technology companies in Silicon Valley - Google, Apple – are mostly from other countries
Culture  (Engineers thrive)
Engineers are valued
United States favor engineers – OPT (Optional Practical Training), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Privilege
Engineers are well-off. An well-educated engineer of 5 years of experience (senior software engineer) would earn…*
$177,878 at Google, Inc.
$137,263 at Yahoo, Inc.
$100,000 at Apple, Inc.
$106,228 at Cisco
$115,670 at Microsoft
Eric Schmitz (CEO of Google, Inc.) said at I/O conference, “You came here to talk about, which I liked the most, programming. It is time for us to take advantage of the amazing opportunity ahead.”
It is not a shame to fail. (A friend of mine from business school…)
Entrepreneurship is ingrained in the society
Business Schools for Entrepreneurship
UCLA Anderson - Knapp Competition
UC Berkeley Haas – Business Plan Competition
Stanford GSB & Stanford Entrepreneurship Network
Conferences for Entrepreneurs
School – Industry
The professors of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Stanford University have their own companies, or sponsor entrepreneurs.
Mendel Rosenblum founded VMWare ($15.85B)
“My professor also is preparing to start a company during his sabbatical.” – Ji Young Park, Ph.D. candidate at Stanford EE
Money (Plentiful and circulating)
$10B venture investment in North California in 2007* (compared to 0.8B in Korea in 2007**)
Housing price are expensive here, too ($1M~$10M in Palo Alto)
However, there is plenty of money to be invested in the companies. (Retired people actively invest)
Once the company goes IPO or is sold, a big amount of money circulates back to the investment.
High liquidity (IPO is not the only exit strategy)
Market Cap. – Silicon Valley vs. Korea*
Silicon Valley Premium?
Founded in 2000
In 2005, the revenue was $30M, net income was $4.6M, and the number of employees was 350.
Acquired by EA Mobile at $680 million in 2005
Founded in 2000
In 2008, the revenue was $13M, and net income was 5.2M, and the number of employee was 120.
Listed on KOSDAQ, and the market cap is $75M
Case Study (Korea): Gamevil
Founded by Byungjoon Song (25), along with people from Seoul National University
Angel investments from the students and professors of SNU
Got two rounds of institution investments from Hyundai and Samsung securities in 2000, 2001 ($1.1M in total. Valuation: $)
Declared itself as a ‘mobile game company’
Listed on KOSDAQ in August, 2008
Case Study (U.S.): Viikii.net
Founded by Jiwon Moon (Harvard MS), Changseong Ho (Stanford MBA) in 2007
1 engineer in Korea, 1 engineer in the U.S.
Secured investments from friends and venture capital
Monthly Unique Visitors reached 1.8M
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