Two male engineers met two female designers and made history. Kim Hye-yeon (a Senior in the Department of Communication and Electronic Engineering) and Nam Se-gi (a Senior in the Department of Electronic System Engineering) collaborated with designers Lee Sol-E (a Senior in the Department of Industrial Design) and Jeong Hee-yeon (a Senior in the Department of Industrial Design) to found the company nThing. This joint effort has already seen its rewards. On June 24, the IT (Information Technology) company nThing was selected as one of five companies in the Global K-Startup Competition, a program which supports fresh ideas of start-up companies by venture capitalists such as Google, NHN, and SKT etc. By being selected as one of the teams of the Global K-Startup Program, nThing will receive funding worth 3,000,000 won.
The company’s idea, SmartPoT is an IT service in the field of IoT (Interest of Things), which aims to create new values by linking ordinary items with IT technologies. nThing’s idea was to combine pots used for plants and flowers with IT technology, and thus the SmartPoT service was born. “Our SmartPoT service makes it possible for people to water their plants using a special flowerpot that is connected with mobile systems. SmartPoT can be a make a great gift to a person’s loved one because messages can be shared using the LED system attached to the pots,” said Kim Hye-yeon, the CEO of the company.
nThing is different from other IT companies in that the company focuses more on the design of their products. Another CEO of nThing, Nam Se-gi said, “There are people who think that combining engineering with the field of design is a mismatch. However, Kim and I share the view that design is also an important factor in creating IT products. Therefore, we looked for partners with backgrounds in design and fortunately, we found them.”
When asked if they had experienced any conflicts when working together, they just smiled saying “Never.” Lee Sol-E added, “There is a saying, ‘It is meaningless to make a purple color by mixing just red and blue paints.’ That means we should look carefully at the qualities each color has and not be over focused on carelessly mixing everything together to see what kind of results we can get. All the members of our company agree with that notion and we respect each other. That is why we have not had any conflicts, and I do not think we ever will.”
They also talked about their strong ambition to succeed which they believed helped them to overcome the obstacles they faced in their business. “Although we may not end up winning the top prize in the Global K-Startup competition, we will keep trying because our aim is not just to win a competition, but to build a successful business,” added Kim.