Alto: Sustainable Design Thinking

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NextRise 2021 brought together everyone involved in the startup ecosystem in Korea. One of those startups that visited, was Alto.

NextRise video 1_Alto
When was Alto founded?

Alto was formed by students from Yonsei University, who were members of ICISTS (International Conference for the Integration of Science, Technology, and Society), a startup club comprised of students from the top universities in Korea.

In February 2021, ICISTS’ Graffiti Startup Festival drew participants from around the country. Two of the students participating, Seohyeon Chung and Sungjun Seo, met for the first time, and after hearing Lighting Up Ventures founder and CEO, Mario Garcia-Lee speak, they realized they shared a common vision.

This led to the creation of Alto, a product design company helping companies with their branding through compliments to sustainable design thinking. While there had been some success in gaining clients, there always seemed to be a little skepticism.

Four months after founding the company, Alto’s founders were walking through NextRise 2021 when they came across the Lighting Up Ventures booth and Mario, the man who had set them on their current journey.


How has Lighting Up Venture's helped?

After a short conversation, Alto had refined their offering and value proposition, making it more defined and specialized. New clients are now able to understand exactly what Alto will be able to do for them, the all-important job to be done.

The Alto founders learned an important lesson about testing and adapting to what the market says, but also that the market response must be interpreted and interpreted with the lens of what job you are doing for the buyer.

Even if he never said it, the quotation attributed to Henry Ford emphasizes this point; “[i]f I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” The horse brought people from one point to another. Alto had been searching for that faster horse until they saw how to reframe the discussion.

While there will be more adaptations in the future, Alto has a clear vision on the job they are doing for their clients and has learned how to interpret feedback and will be able to adapt and we are excited to see where their journey takes them.

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