The current trend in the Korean startup market is the rise in so called ‘high tech startup companies’ that highlight their competitiveness through their technological prowess. Since these high tech startups enter the market with their own unique and highly specialized technologies, it is less likely that they encounter competition and more likely to succeed. Olaworks is an example of one of these high tech companies. The company founded with its background in video recognition technology has in fact become the first Korean company to go through an M&A with the world renowned semiconductor company, Intel. In this spring issue of the EE Newsletter, we take our time to interview a fellow KAIST Electrical Engineering alumnus and founder of Olaworks – a startup with an incredible success story – Dr. Jung-hee Ryu.
Q. Please introduce yourself.
A. Hello. My name is Jung-hee Ryu and I graduated from KAIST studying Electrical Engineering. I received my bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate’s degree from KAIST and founded my startup, Olaworks, after graduating. As the CEO of Olaworks I worked on developing an image processing technology based on facial recognition, and I work as an employee of Intel after the acquisition. I have also worked as an affiliated professor for the KAIST Graduate School of Cultural Technology and the Graduate School of Information & Media Management.
Q. Could you tell us how you came to found Olaworks?
A. People often say that the Internet is a sea of information. I always thought that it is really boring and limiting that this sea of information only exists inside a computer. If these information were moving back and forth in real life, it would be much more fun and intuitive.
So I set out to think about how to realize a product that does this. I did not feel like getting into a company to get that done, and it would still be hard to accomplish, so I thought it would be better to startup my own company. That’s why I started the Olaworks.