|▲ Seo Min-ji is making a presentation at the contest (Source: CWNU Waagle)
On the 8th, the ‘2023 National College Student Social Venture Contest’ was held at the ICC Hotel in Daejeon. At this contest, the ‘Jowaseo’ team, which attended as a representative of CWNU, won the Excellence Award by presenting the ‘Sweet Persimmon Makgeolli’ item using local specialties.
Many teams from LINC 3.0 conducting universities across the country applied for this competition, which was held for the third time this year, and 15 university teams were selected after the prejudging. The final ranking was confirmed through an examination in writing and a presentation evaluation held on the 8th. CWNU 'Jowaseo' team, which won the Excellence Award at this competition, was led by team leader Seo Min- ji and consists of students Kim Ye- won, Kim Young- eun, Park Geon- hwa, and Jang So- young, and was recognized for its local value creation and excellence as a "Jikgam" item, a traditional liquor made using the non- rated (ugly) specialty "sweet persimmon." To hear more details about the Jowaseo team, we interviewed student Seo Min- ji, the leader of this team.
Q. Please introduce yourself.
Seo: Hello, I am Seo Min- ji, a master's student in the Department of Industrial Design at CWNU.
Q. Why did you start an item called ‘Jikgam,’ sweet persimmon makgeolli, and why did you select ‘sweet persimmon’ among non- grade (ugly) agricultural products?
Seo: My grandfather ran a sweet persimmon orchard for 40 years, and from a young age, I noticed that many fruits were thrown away because they were ugly. In particular, sweet persimmons become soft when damaged, so it is difficult to sell them as an ugly specialty product, so most of them are dumped. Therefore, I thought of 'liquor' as a food that is easy to distribute and can be processed all year round, and came up with the 'Jikgam' item, a traditional liquor that combines this liquor with 'sweet persimmon,' which is classified as an ugly specialty.
Q. What is the difference between ‘Jikgam,’ which is classified as a traditional liquor, and existing Korean drinks?
Seo: Currently, our team is developing Takju, one of the traditional liquors. If you look at the fruit Takju on the market, the fruit content is about 5%, but the most significant difference is that we put 25% of sweet persimmons, which is the maximum fruit content of traditional liquor. The reason why this differentiation is possible is that we use ugly fruits and purchase them at a price that is about 80% lower than the price of fruits supplied to existing department stores, therefore, we pay attention to increasing the content and quality of traditional fruits.
Q. What was difficult about preparing for the 2023 National College Student Social Venture Competition?
Seo: To be honest, it was difficult for me to not have enough time while preparing for this competition while simultaneously working on two government- supported projects and master's research.
Q. What do you think is the secret to why your team could win the Excellence Award at this Contest?
Seo: I think the secret is meticulous product research and consistency. We started brewing alcoholic beverages in the winter of 2021 and worked through verification and improvement of product research over 50 times. Based on the data, we have had steady experiences such as winning several startup competitions and passing government support projects, which helped us better write and present competition documents.
Q. Please tell us about the 'Jowaseo' team's future plans.
Seo: We are currently preparing a brewery in Jungang- dong, Changwon- si, so the brewing equipment will be coming in soon, and the development of 'Jikgam' is almost complete. We expect to launch and sell the product around January next year, and we are planning various other products and packages utilizing agricultural by- products. In the future, we are also aiming to operate offline stores.
The team achieved good results in the competition by using sweet persimmons and mainstream business ideas that were discarded due to their poor appearance. We hope that the team will create social and regional value in the future, and we look forward to growing into a local representative company.
By Jo Ah-bin, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © The Campus Journal, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>