In September 2016, an eye-catching installation was set up at Hanyang University Station, exit 2. It was a small donation platform called Detris, a combination of the Korean word for “university” and the famous puzzle video game, Tetris. This new installation was developed, designed, and implemented by Hanyang University(HYU) undergraduates. “I figured there should be an easily accessible donation system for those who have the desire to donate,” said Choi Gyu-seon, a Junior in the Department of Economics and Finance at HYU.
Choi’s idea came a step closer to being realized when he met likeminded schoolmates in the Social Business Entrepreneurship course. “My team came up with the idea of a small donation platform that enables people to donate 300 won by placing their transportation card on the card reader. I wanted to develop it into a real system, so I actively threw myself into the challenge of giving shape to this Detris idea.”
With great help from Seo Jinseok, Chief Manager of the Volunteer
Service Center, Choi and his teammates were able to successfully install Detris. Moreover, with the University’s support, Choi founded a social venture: Station 208. Despite its success, Choi recalls the hardships he went through and thanks everyone who provided him with assistance. “When my team was confronted with technological problems, professors helped us all the time. Also, my teammates who major in Applied Arts Education and Graphic Design worked hard to design the eye-catching installation.”
In a short period of time, Detris has enabled 4,500 people to participate in donating to charity. Choi is planning to install Detris not only in subway stations, but also in district offices including the Seongdong-gu Office. He is currently making improvements and adding diverse donation themes to the system. “I’m setting up specific donation themes in the Detris depending on the needs of the specific community. The needs of the community met by the community: this would encourage voluntary donation and make the act of donating more meaningful.” Station 208 is also cooperating with HYU’s volunteer agency, Tenspoon, and is in the process of supporting local people who are in need.
Choi’s success as the CEO of a social venture gives Hanyangians the message that small ideas can reach great heights when you put them into action. “If you have a good idea, start your own business. After all, people are the happiest when they do what they truly want to do.”