Korean travel retailer Lotte Duty Free has selected new entrepreneurs to support through its StarUp business accelerator programme.
Over 140 million won/US$110,000 has been invested in 30 ‘youth’ companies across Busan and Jeju since 2019.
The latest inductees to the scheme were celebrated in launch ceremony held at the Busan Creative Economy Innovation Center today [12 July].
Lectures, consulting and networking sessions were also held for the young entrepreneurs.
The fifth round of the accelerator programme included alcohol brand Gul Can House, Yellow King Kong, which produces eco-friendly products for events, and Petel Co, a developer of Busan travel services for dogs.
Arp Studio, a food culture experience, Dabi Co, a fragrance brand, and Feliz Co, an F&B management service, were also part of the scheme.
In addition to funding, each business founder will benefit from a tailored 10-week support programme, including mentoring and a business assessment.
If the businesses perform well, they will have the opportunity to join the Lotte Duty Free store ecosystem.
StarUp graduates from the first four rounds include Broccoli Company, Malang Hani, and Yacht People.
“We expect that we will be able to take our vegan product development to the next level through the Starops project,” said Kim Chi-up, ARP Studio CEO. “We will strive to make ARP have a positive impact on protecting the environment and creating eco-life.” (All quotes from translation.)
Lee Joon-pyo, CEO of Gul Can House, added: “We will make efforts to promote our sake by utilizing local resources and contribute to the economic vitality and win-win prosperity of the Busan region.”
Noh Jae-seung, head of marketing at Lotte Duty Free, commented: “We hope that the StarUps project will help the Busan community and youth businesses grow together.
“Lotte Duty Free will continue to carry out social contribution activities that can contribute to job creation and the development of the tourism industry.”
The travel retailer recently unveiled a new ‘mobile passport service’, allowing both domestic and international customers to make duty free purchases at its downtown stores without using their actual passports.
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