ASAN Nanum Foundation

The Asan Nanum Foundation was established by Hyundai Group in 2011, and they aim to support young entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas that make a social impact. As of 2023, the foundation has helped over 400 startups in Korea. The foundation was founded on $525 million in funding from the Hyundai Group.

The foundation provides a variety of curriculums and educational content to help future generations cultivate entrepreneurship. Therefore Asan Nanum Foundation is the perfect place for young entrepreneurs in Korea who dream of starting their own businesses. In addition, they are stepping up to help social innovators in the non-profit ecosystem create a better future for the next generation.

It currently operates Maru 180, Maru 360, and the ASAN SANGHOE program, where young entrepreneurs test their innovative ideas and have easier access to funding. The foundation has created $350 million in social value over the past decade.

The ASAN SANGHOE Social Entrepreneurship Program

The ASAN SANGHOE program was launched in 2019 by Asain Nanum Foundation. Amid the rapidly changing business environment, the foundation has set a new goal to diversify its investment to help young entrepreneurs make social impacts.

  • Are you interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship?
  • Do you have an idea for a tech-driven business?
  • Do you want to work in an international team from all backgrounds, including North Korea?

Empowering North Korean Resettlers to Become Successful Entrepreneurs

The ASAN SANGHOE program empowers North Korean resettlers (refugees) by helping them become successful entrepreneurs. The goal is to help these refugees start businesses that enable them to build new livelihoods and contribute to the overall Korean startup ecosystem while at the same time restoring their dignity. Refugees have similar characteristics to entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur, especially in South Korea, requires much resilience and patience. These characteristics are very familiar to many refugees. Therefore the Asan Nanum Foundation has developed a personalized program with access to business coaching, industry experts, funding, and a chance to work with foreign and South Koreans.


Asan Sanghoe

The ASAN SANGHOE program is a four-month entrepreneurship boot camp for North Korean resettlers (“refugees”), South Koreans, and Korean-speaking foreign-born participants. Therefore the program offers opportunities for entrepreneurs regardless of where they come from. Together these groups create startup ideas in a truly multicultural and global entrepreneurship environment. The program builds a solid foundation for real business growth through integrated support such as incubation and acceleration. In addition, they travel to Europe to network and pitch for seed funding, and so far, have had a few high-profile successes, such as North Korean cooking classes and a Coffee shop that trains North Korean refugees. The overall aim of the program is to build a community of strong entrepreneurs.

“ASAN SANGHOE is the Asan Nanum Foundation’s flagship global team entrepreneurship program for North Korean resettlers, foreign, and South Korean youths, who will lead the future businesses of the united Koreas. We hope that through the ASAN SANGHOE program, those who haven’t had opportunities to pursue entrepreneurial path, will be preparing and building together with the future world,” said Jung Hwa Ha, the Asan Nanum Foundation’s Chairman.

Why join the ASAN SANGHOE Program?

  • You are fully supported and sponsored by the Asan Nanum Foundation. This includes the global marketing trip to Europe.
  • The Asan Nanum Foundation graduation certificate will be given upon the competition of the ASAN SANGHOE Incubation process.
  • Three million won for those that move on to the Startup Acceleration phase.
  • A matching grant from the Asan Nanum Foundation for investment. This can be up to 50 million won.
  • MARU 180/360 benefits all teams that complete the ASAN SANGHOE Program.

Entrepreneurship Incubation (May 18th – September 25th)

This program will take four months. There will be a hackathon and a basic team entrepreneurship course during this time. Then they will go to Europe to visit entrepreneurship-related institutions, global pitching events, and networking events. Moreover, the incubation program will allow entrepreneurs to hear from special lectures with experts and visit startup-related organizations. Based on their presentations, the incubation will end with a showcase of teams for acceleration.

Location: The Asan Nanum Foundation (Yaksu Office, MARU 180)

Startup Acceleration (September – December 18th)

Asan SANGHOEThose that move on to the Startup Acceleration Program will have four weeks of startup team building and business model evaluation. Then they will establish their startup and launch their product or service. Moreover, during this process, the teams will have expert mentoring and get funding for project commercialization. It will end with a Demo Day where the teams will pitch to potential investors.

Location: The Asan Nanum Foundation (Yaksu Office, MARU 180)

Demo DayInvestment and Support

There will be a matching grant to help support startups with their investment. In addition, the teams will have the full support of the co-working space MARU 180 and the Asan Nanum Foundation alumni association.

Other programs offered by the Asan Nanum Foundation are below.

Asan Youth-Preneur

The Asan Youth-Preneur program is focused on cultivating youth entrepreneurship in Korea and helping spread the culture of entrepreneurship in the Korean education system. It helps young entrepreneurs discover their interests and find their talents. In addition, they learn about economic ideas, business models, and what it takes to start a business in Korea. The program has three main themes, and it is conducted in 10 sessions each for one semester. This program, as well as many others below, takes place at the Asan Entrepreneurship School.

Asan Teacher-Preneur

The Asan Teacher-Preneur is an entrepreneurship training program for middle and high school teachers. The problem has a basic course and an advanced course. Both courses help teachers develop entrepreneurial attitudes to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

The basic course includes key elements of entrepreneurship—such elements as the concept of entrepreneurship, the mindset of an entrepreneur, and content development methods.

The advanced course is on entrepreneurship theory and practice. In addition, an entrepreneurship education curriculum shows the entire process of entrepreneurship. Therefore, this includes the starting-up theory, capturing ideas, and developing a business model. Furthermore, the course studies global success stories by going to innovative educational institutions abroad.

The program gives teachers in Korea the tools to create their curriculum to nurture entrepreneurship for this class.

Entrepreneurship Let’s Go

The Entrepreneurship Let’s Go program raises entrepreneurship awareness and expands the entrepreneurship education ecosystem. The program aims to enable Korean elementary, middle, and high school students, parents, and teachers to find ways to foster entrepreneurship. In addition, the program is divided into three categories (Attitude, Skill, and Knowledge). Moreover, the skill section focuses on the skills needed for entrepreneurship (coding, robotics, etc.).

Asan Entrepreneurship Review

The Asan Entrepreneurship Review is a case study that focuses on the concerns related to startups and venture companies in Korea. In addition, students who take this course learn about the problems entrepreneurs face when growing a startup through actual case studies. Therefore, students can experience entrepreneurial decision-making and analyze business models, investment processes, and organizational strategies and decisions. Overalls, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the Korean startup ecosystem.

Asan Seowon

Asan Seowon is an educational institution. It was established with the private think tank, Asan Policy Research Institute. Fifty students are admitted every year to the Asan Bachelor. Furthermore, they receive education in history, philosophy, politics, and economics. In addition, they will experience internships in international think tanks worldwide, including in the US and China.

Chung Ju-yung Angel Investment Fund

The Chung Ju-yung Angel Investment Fund will be for new VC firms and female-centered venture capital. In addition, the aim is for the fund to invest in areas where funds are lacking. Unlike other funds, this fund will focus less on profit and more on helping the environment through ESG initiatives.


Host your event in Korea the right way!

Click here for tips!