In conjunction with Lotte Group, Busan serves as a front base for innovative, vital local economy in the ranges of distribution, film, Internet of Things (IoT), etc. Busan will be the national business hub for film and contents creation in conjunction with its film infrastructure and the convergence belt of cultural creation. The city government also is also scheduled to a make smart city by bolstering IoT based startups.
The Busan Center for Creative Economy & Innovation strives to grow three characteristic industries (distribution, film, and IoT). Lotte Group supports the projects financially according to the character of the affiliates. In terms of distribution, Lotte will help sell the products (selected by the Busan Center) through its distribution network such as Lotte Department Store, Lotte Mart, and so on. The Busan Center will also support the filmmaking firms in conjunction with the Lotte Cinema and Lotte Entertainment. Besides, in the field of IoT, Lotte Data Communication will give support to Busan-based film makers by means of consulting and others.
If the Busan Center cites its most notable achievement, it will say about the opening the market through Lotte distribution network. Opened in March last year, the Busan Center has discovered 67 small startups and 145 products, achieving KRW 16.3 billion won in sales. In distribution sector, the Busan Center has offered direct support for the goods to be sold through Lotte’s distribution network after finding out indigenous, merchandisable products. That system is greatly applauded by local companies. Products commercialized in that way are supplied to the Lotte distribution network in China and Southeast Asian countries. That way, even small and medium sized local companies can find a way to export.
When Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the Lotte Group, visited the Busan Center in July last year, he held a gathering with the representatives of startups. At that time, Gam Ji-young of Seungin Food experienced hardship in finding out the market for his products though the sesame oil of his company was very excellent in flavor and taste. Trusting the quality, the Busan Center supported the company in distribution and publicity. Reportedly, it has been a great help for him. On the other hand, Lee Jong-eon, representative of Cheong Sung Company invented a very distinctive product - popcorn not fried in oil. But he also experienced difficulties in finding out the market. He expressed thanks, saying, “With the help of Busan Center, I am selling my products in more than 7,000 stores of Seven Eleven.”
Lotte Group chairman Shin said, “One characteristic of Busan Center can be an innovative sales network in that the products of local small and medium sized businesses can be sold through Lotte distribution network.” On the same day, Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of Honduras visited the Busan Center and listened to the explanation of chairman Shin about the status of creative economy in the Busan region. Impressed by the explanation, the president said, “No matter how good a product may be, it might be meaningless without a support in distribution. But the system here is very impressive as big companies and the government team up to help small and medium sized businesses through the center for creative economy through the system. I wish we could learn more about the details.”
As stated above, the Busan Center for Creative Economy and Innovation and Lotte Group have formed a partnership in supporting startups with expert consulting and necessary fund, believing that finding out market is the most important factor for the success of a startup business.