Yigal Ehrlich, CEO of YOZMA Group and founder of the venture business support program YOZMA Funds, said, “Korea should focus on the bio and medical fields for small and medium sized venture businesses.” Ehrlich is from startup-rich Israel, a place where many small ventures are successful.
On August 26, Ehrlich met with reporters after signing Korea’s first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Finance Corporation.
YOZMA Funds was established by Ehrlich in 1993 and led Israel to become a country where small and medium sized businesses can thrive. This fund is, in fact, a role model for South Korean president Park Guen-hye and her cabinet’s goal of ensuring the growth of Korean venture businesses.
He said, “Bio and medical fields can give young business starters many opportunities to let out new and innovative ideas,” and added, “More than half of the businesses in the YOZMA Fund, in terms of the financial amount, are related to these fields.” He specifically pointed out that small and medium venture investors should pay close attention to the medical equipment industry. In fact, one of the medical equipment businesses where the YOZMA Fund invested was sold to Johnson & Johnson’s of the US at US$400 million, after just 4 years of investment.
Regarding the right venture business investment time, he emphasized, “Right now is the right time. After the global crisis in 2008, the economy is slowly turning around,” and added, “If you started investing from last year to this year, you will make huge profits within the next 2-4 years.”
President Park and the Korean government defined the main idea of the creative economy as “people dreaming for change.” Ehrlich pointed out, “The creative economy is the process of a person reaching his or her goals by using new ideas or starting a business,” and emphasized, “The creative economy will become a lot more important as the economy will become more innovative in the future.”
Ehrlich signed the MOU for improving the general teamwork with CEO Jin Young-wook of Korea Finance Corporation, a representative financial institution for domestic small and medium sized businesses. Through this MOU, Korea Finance Corporation will benchmark the YOZMA Group’s expertise to provide customized mentoring per growth phase to enforce the domestic support for small and medium-sized venture businesses.