[Accelerator Interview] Sleep Solution Developer, ‘Mongata’

2021.2.24

1. Overview of Mongata

Mongata is a company that develops hardware and software products for that help the users to sleep better and track their sleep and its key products are Mongata Sway Bed and Mongata Sleep Sensor. In order to strengthen its sleep data service, Mongata has recently been focusing on developing sleep data processing algorithms and is trying to use sleep data to create optimal sleep environment for individuals.

2. Company Background

My family including myself has suffered insomnia and depression for a long time and this experience made be to start this business. I wondered what people could do for themselves to solve serious psychological problems like insomnia and depression and wanted to make products for people who need immediate, solutions. 

3. Mongata’s Strengths and Differentiating Factors

Most sleep aids we see are sleeping pills or medical products. And there are pillows, blankets and mattresses that help people to sleep but these are not very effective. Mongata on the other hand develops hardware products that can replace sleeping pills. While they are not very healthy to take for an extended period of time, sleeping pills are definitely necessary for some people. However, we wanted to make an effective sleeping solution people can use before using sleeping pills as a last resort. Mongata’s sleeping solution is based on the data from a research done at the University of Geneva on the effectiveness of rocking beds.

Our sleep sensor also collect sleep data on how well a person sleeps and helps the person to sleep in an optimal sleeping environment.

4. Most Memorable Moment?

My happiest memory is when we first completed our first clinical trials at Severance Hospital’s Sleep Health Center. It was a tough, 6-month period but it was also a very meaningful period for us. It was also tough when Director Chan-sik Kim who was at the very beginning with us, had to leave for his military service. He had entered college pretty late in his life, at 29 and when he had to leave, I felt all kinds of emotions. I was sorry, thankful and I also felt afraid of him leaving.    

But, after all, in 2020, we received investments from our great investors like ZER01NE, D.CAMP, MAGNA and SBA and although it was a very difficult and tough year because we had to complete our TIPS start-up launch package, 2020 was, overall, a great year for us.

5. Business Accomplishments

We are currently working with Bodyfriend on a joint development project through a sleep sensor development agreement and we’ve completed developing a PoC for a sleep sensor system that goes inside Hyundai Motor Group’s self-driving cars. We are planning to supply this product in 2021 and we are planning to supply our Sway Bed through homeshopping channels once we complete the raw materials cost reduction process. 

6. What Inspires You While Running a Business?

It’s not so much about inspirations but it’s the sense of duty that keeps us going. The greatest motivation for us is the desire to empathize with others’ pain and the desire to help others in pain. Sometime this heavy pressure that comes from our sense of duty makes us want to run away and sometimes we feel discouraged because we feel incapable but we never give up and we constantly move forward to realize our vision.

7. Advice for Those Preparing to Start a Business

There is a phrase I keep close to my heart. Professor Yong-jae Choi at Yonsei University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering once told me, “If you want to make money, you have to decide where to spend money. The money that has no place to be spent eventually gets spent in wrong places. Even though you’re not making money right now, if you want to make money, decide where you will be spending money first.” My ultimate goal is to build a hospital that specializes in psychological treatment and by creating revenue through Mongata’s great services, I want to make money and spend it in the right places. I want to tell you to make lots of money which you already have decided on where to spend.

8. What Are Your Business Plans and Vision for the Future and Your Thoughts on ZER01NE?

We want to make Mongata’s Sway Bed as successful and impactful as adjustable beds and, lead and expand the sleep aids market. After building our business through B2B transactions first, we want to develop algorithms based on the sleep data we accumulate and provide various sleep-aid services. The number of people suffering from depression in Korea is constantly rising and we are seeing various forms of mental trauma and stress like Corona Blue in this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We want to help people suffering from these problem in any way possible. We also want to thank ZER01NE for all the support and encouragement. We’ve carried out research and development over the past 7 years but we will stay on our course and strive to offer the best results and products for the 7 years, 70 years and more.

9. Anything Else You Want to Say?

It’s never enough and difficult for us. We always face problems and at times, it gets really tough. But for those who has a reason to do business. Do not give up. Always remember there is someone rooting for you. I pay respect to those who are living more for others than for themselves. Thank you.

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