STEP-UP Information


Program at a glance


Organizing committee


Entrepreneurship in Cell & Gene Therapy (CGT) and Healthcare in the digital era.

The Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) will host the 3rd Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Partners’ Upscale Program (STEP-UP) in New York (and ONLINE as a hybrid event) for 4 days from May 23th, 2022. Its mission is to promote and enrich the KSEA members’ entrepreneurship as well as to discuss the success of innovative companies, particularly in the domains of cell & gene therapy (CGT) and healthcare in the digital era.

Keynote Speech

Title: “How to start a Tech Venture in the Age of Open Innovation and Global Convergence.”

Donghoon Lee, Executive Vice President at SK Inc.

Mr. Lee is currently a head of Bio Investment Center at SK Inc, an investment holding company of SK group.

He is leading SK group’s bio investment globally by serving as a chairman of BOD at SK Biopharm and as a board member at SK Pharmteco.

Formerly, he was a head of global business at Donga ST and CEO of Donga Socio Holdings.

Prior to joining Donga, he practiced as a partner at Samjong KPMG Investment Advisory in Korea.

He has MBA from The Ohio State University and BBA from Seoul National University.

Welcoming Remark

It is my great pleasure to welcome each one of you to the 3rd STEP-UP event. This is one of the key major events that KSEA has been hosting for more than 5 years. As some of you know, the STEP-UP is a revamped name for Professional Development Forum (PDF) to be held twice in 2018 and 2019. 

In the past, KSEA has focused on many activities related to academic research and development. Like myself, many first-generation Korean-Americans came to the US and pursued a Doctoral Degree in engineering or science and found their professional job in academia.  However, these days many first-generation Korean-Americans found their jobs in the industry and have shown a strong interest in entrepreneurship. This is even apparent to 2nd- and 3rd-generation Korean-Americans. In order to embrace these trends, KSEA has begun a new initiative in entrepreneurship and startup to embrace them. Obviously, the STEP-UP is a flagship event of such an effort. In addition, the US Korea Conference on Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship included the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium and Startup Pitch Competition. KSEA also expanded the Small & Medium-sized Enterprises Committee (SMEC) members from 8 to 11 and included a start-up subcommittee.  

I am truly grateful to the STEP-UP Chair Il Minn and the organizing committee members for their time and efforts in putting this event together. Thank you! I believe their efforts have been paid off as evidenced by your participation.  

A few quick reminders of the recent KSEA changes should be noted: (i) KSEA’s technical group is expanded to 16 groups to include social sciences and technology entrepreneurship and (ii) we will call each other’s first name when communicating in English. 

More importantly, I sincerely hope everyone enjoys the 3rd STEP-UP event whether you join in-person or virtually. Please make sure to have new friends via this event and share your success stories via our LinkedIn page ( https://www.linkedin.com/company/ksea/) with over 1700 members. 


Byungkyu Brian Park
The 50th President of KSEA

Dear STEP-UP 2022 Participants,

I welcome you to the 3rd Technology Entrepreneurship Partners’ Upscale Program (STEP-UP 2022), which will be held in a hybrid style on May 23 – 26, 2022, on behalf of the organizing committee. The Korean-American Scientist and Engineers Association (KSEA), which has been serving our members for 50 years, is hosting STEP-UP 2022 with generous sponsorship from the Korean Federation of Science & Technology Societies (KOFST), SK Inc., Korea-US Science Cooperation Center (KUSCO), and Korea Innovation Center Washington DC (KIC).

The STEP-UP aims to promote and enrich the entrepreneurship & partnership activities among KSEA members and other stakeholders. Specifically, we aim to accomplish the following objectives

Increase the chances of KSEA members’ tech ventures by offering the information, expertise, and networking in the field.

Create a platform for small and medium-sized technology companies to share strategies and ideas for growing faster while lowering risk.

Encourage collaborations among KSEA scholars, scientists, developers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, marketers, and other experts in the fields of bio/healthcare to create a new ecosystem of Korean-American companies.

This year’s theme is Healthcare Entrepreneurship, with special emphasis on “Cell & Gene Therapy (CGT)” and “Healthcare in the Digital Era”, both of which are driving paradigm shifts in medicine. We will feature lectures from industry, academic, and government professionals on topics such as the introduction to CGT and Digital Health, US regulatory affairs, legislation, investments, and prominent start-up presentations. We have a leading industry expert, Donghoon Lee, MBA, Executive Vice President, SK Holdings, as a keynote speaker, who will share his expertise and insights from the successful enterprises.

I express my sincere gratitude to all sponsors, supporting organizations, KSEA HQ staff, organizing committee members, and participants. We hope you all enjoy STEP-UP 2022 and bring ideas, collaborators, investors, and confidence with you after the conclusion of the event.

Sincerely Yours,

IL Minn
Chair, STEP-UP 2022
Entrepreneurship Director, KSEA

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