Seoul city announced its intention of starting a business named Campus Town on June 27. The business will renovate the area within or around university campuses to create an environment for students to foster entrepreneurial spirit.
In order to solve both the youth problems including unemployment and the economic problems at the local level, Campus Town supports the university campus surroundings. The business has five aims: to increase employment, stabilize housing, specialize culture, vitalize economy and foster local cooperation.
The government will remodel empty buildings and make use of semi-basements near campuses and hold career fairs. Ten Campus Towns are to be built next year, with a 152 billion won budget designated for this business until 2025. In places where a full Campus Town cannot be built, sectional support of supplying rental houses and youth start-up consulting will take place.
The first Campus Town to be established is π-Ville in Korea University. π-Ville 99, the first ever sub-town out of three built this September, is a building with 38 containers connected together.
“I think the main difference between other start-up related businesses such as 52nd street of Ewha and π-Ville lies in the main purpose,” explained Chung Seok, the director of π-Ville. “π-Ville is a place for generating creative ideas, where students use the spaces freely in order to accomplish their goals. For instance, some may use the space to pursue art or volunteer work. π-Ville does not focus on establishing an actual start up like other businesses.”
The town is split into four parts to serve different purposes. Idea Café will be a place for students to communicate and share ideas, Open Plan Studio will be a place to exhibit students’ works and receive feedback, Creative Lecture will be a place for students to meet professors and older students to gain advice and Mentoring Service will be a place to get consulting in various fields that students are interested in.
“The long term goal of π-Ville is to keep sustainability with minimum effort,” Chung commented. “It is also crucial that the spaces are designated efficiently and is accessible to students who are in need.”
Students in Korea University seems to welcome the addition to the school.
“Although many students are not yet aware of π-Ville, I think it provides a great place for idea sharing,” said a sophomore from Korea University. “However, I think that more start-up related apparatus such as printers need to be equipped in order to encourage students to use this place.”