Kim Shin-woo is the CEO of Ssgsag, a calendar application that was released in 2019 to help students cope with their university life. Through the application, students can receive tailored information on contests, clubs, and internships according to their school, major, and interest. The main service of Ssgsag is to organize such necessary information on one’s calendar efficiently.
“During my time as an undergraduate at Yonsei, I noticed that more than 5,000 contests and international activities were held annually,” Kim said. “However, due to the absence of convenient ways to find these notices, students could not participate. According to a research I read, it takes an average of 34.6 minutes for students to find information on various student opportunities and recruitment. Naturally, I started to question how students could receive curated information they need and also save them quickly.”
Kim was able to find the solution to his question when he entered Shout Our Passion Together (SOPT), a university student union club for IT start-ups. This embodied his idea of a calendar application.
“There was a part of me that was mesmerized by business since I was young,” Kim explained his motive for joining SOPT. “This interest for start-ups did not come out of the blue while I was studying physical education at Yonsei. A business that could help university students in any way seemed like a goal worth achieving.”
In the meantime, Kim participated in a Hackathon run by SOPT in January 2019. As hackathons are events where experts collaborate on software projects, Kim met a designer and developer who currently remains to work with him. During the hackathon, they cooperated and ran a project for three weeks and the development of that project led to the initiation of Ssgsag’s business.
In order to found Ssgsag, Kim had to overcome some difficulties. He expressed how it was not easy to start as a team of university students who did not have much experience with managing a business. Every team member started to develop their own areas of expertise, such as coding and marketing. Afterwards, they shared what they had learned with each other. Through this process, they were able to accumulate skills and develop as a team.
“My team members and I came up with about 25 naming ideas for the application,” Kim said. “Out of many options, we liked how the word “Ssgsag” describes the sound of swiping cards in Korean. Moreover, the combination of “ssg” and “sag” demonstrates the function of the application. Ssg, meaning to slip quickly in Korean, shows how users can save necessary information cards by dragging to the right while sag(je), meaning to delete in Korean, shows how users can delete unnecessary information cards by dragging to the left.”
About three months after its release, Ssgsag was highly praised for its originality at the 2019 Konkuk University (KU) Startup Competition, a project held by the KU Startup Support Group. The event was held to foster creative manpower and revitalize start-ups. Among the 130 start-ups that participated in the competition, Ssgsag was awarded the grand prize.
While Kim is currently making plans to upgrade Ssgsag by adding functions to connect people and by digitizing the poster board of universities, he promises to continue to think of easier ways students can receive useful information.
“I want to play a role in providing students with information so that they can challenge themselves to participate in various activities,” Kim concluded. “In this era where jobs and fields are becoming more diverse, I hope students can try more activities and ultimately find out what they would truly like to do in the future.”