Do-Cafe, a cafe located near to the main entrance of the University of Seoul (UOS), is a place where you can hang out with your friends, complete group tasks, and use it as an office to complete projects. Moreover, Do-Cafe is more than just a normal study cafe which provides space for students to work, but it is also a co-working space. The UOS Times interviewed the one of the owners of Do-Cafe, Tae-kyung Ryu (Dept. of International Relations, ’08).
The Location of Do-Cafe
Do-Cafe is on seventh floor of Geulter Building which is located at the front gate of UOS. Ryu said, “There are several reasons why we founded Do-cafe here. First, as a student of UOS, I know how much UOS students have needed this kind of place. So I want to help the students with Do-Cafe community and facilities. Second, it is a convenient location and it is easy to reach Cheongnyangni station. Therefore, even though the cafe is on the seventh floor, it creates enough demand that it is always in use.”
What is A Co-Working Space?
Co-working space is a small cooperative community where people from various fields come to work by themselves or share their ideas in the same place. The customers are able to work or study with others’ cooperation and able to learn and benefit from the insight of those around them. Therefore Do-Cafe is more than just your average cafe, it is a unique learning experience.
Ryu, the current UOS student and owner of the cafe, explained the purpose of Do-Cafe: “Do-Cafe is founded for UOS students and others who need their own office for starting up their new business venture. Working as potential start-up entrepreneurs is really hard especially for UOS students because there are not enough places for students to work and research for their possible business and a serious lack of financial support from school. Students with great ideas and potential are limited by lacking facilities to work out their dreams. It is also quite difficult to get information from graduates, who have started their own companies, since there is not a solid networking setup that can connect the graduates and undergraduate students. Therefore, my friends and I who experienced these kinds of difficulties made a business start-up club by ourselves and founded this cafe on April, 2016.”
“As we had felt the problems of working as a young potential entrepreneur, we want that Do-Cafe will fulfill the demand of the students who need place to work for business venture and also for team projects. As mentioned above, we want our Do-Cafe to be a place that can give chances to develop and corporate together. That is the reason why we put “Co-Working Space” in front of Do-Cafe.”
Is there Any Differentiation that Do-Cafe Pursues in the Operation?
The biggest differentiation of Do-Cafe would be that it is a “Co-Working Space.” However, besides this feature, unlike other cafes, Do-Cafe is planning to hold a variety of concerts, such as jazz, a capella group concert. There is also preparation for education programs like barista class for the local residents. As Do-Cafe is built for helping people to develop and communicate with each other, Do-Cafe is trying to arrange the chances through various events.
Ryu especially emphasized the Food and Drinks of the cafe are made with best ingredients that he is able to get. “Even though Do-Cafe is the co-working space, it is still the “cafe,” so we must care about the quality of the food. Since it is located near UOS, lots of acquaintances from the school come and eat food. Therefore, we try to use the best quality ingredients of every food and drink for the customers who are mostly faculties and students of UOS. Especially we have a concept for our Drink and Food: Nutrient and Health in coffee, Cost-Effectiveness in food. In addition, we keep developing new snacks and beverages.”
Many students are curious about the big screens on the desks. They allow the customers to use two monitors during their computer work. The dual screen is necessary for students and workers, but there are not many places that people can use it. This is one of the difficulties that founders of Do-Cafe felt while they were preparing to open the cafe, so Do-Cafe is providing dual screens which are hard to find in other study cafes.
Ryu added, “I think UOS students have relatively weak networks in order to venture or else. As mentioned above, Do-Cafe is the community that people can communicate and help each other. If you are interested in business venture, do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to help you.”
Unlike other normal cafes, the interior and design of Do-Cafe is chic and neat which made me feel tempted to study. The interview with Ryu was a great experience which made me feel like we had a simple chat between two friends.
After the interview I met a dog named Gap(甲) living in Do-Cafe and she has captured my attention for a while. A Dog, chic interior, useful community and delicious snack; these are maybe good reasons to recommend Do-Cafe to UOS students.