“Startup” is set in South Korea's fictional Silicon Valley, called Sandbox, and tells the story of people in the world of startup companies.
Seo Dal Mi dreams of becoming Korea's Steve Jobs. She's an adventurer who doesn't own much, but has a grand plan for herself. She also has experience in a wide range of part-time jobs and is a person of great vitality.
Nam Do San is the founder of Samsan Tech. He was once the pride of his family as a math genius, but for the past two years, he's been going nowhere with his company's investments. It turns out that Seo Dal Mi remembers him as her ‘cool first love’, and he decides to begin a startup in the hope of turning Seo Dal Mi's misunderstanding into reality.
She dreams of becoming Korea's Steve Jobs. She's an adventurer who doesn't own much but has a grand plan for herself. She also has experience in a wide range of part-time jobs and is a person of great vitality.
Do-san is the founder of Samsan Tech. He was once the pride of his family as a math genius, but he is now shy and cannot even look people in the eye. After having gone nowhere in the past two years with investments in his company, he is almost ready to give up. It turns out that Seo Dal-mi remembers him as her ‘cool first love’ although he never knew her, and he decides to begin a startup in the hope of turning Seo Dal-mi's misunderstanding into a reality.
A team leader at SH Venture Capital, his astonishing investment skills and sharp tongue earn him the nickname, “the Gordon Ramsay of investments.” Though he's prickly to most others, he's softer than anyone to one special person who granted him a great favor in the past.
Won In-jae is Seo Dal-mi's older sister. She has everything society respects: a strong educational background, beautiful appearance, and money. She considers her background as a second-generation chaebol a weakness and does everything she can to create success on her own and be acknowledged for her skills.
Kim Hae-sook as Choi Won-deok, Seo Chung-myung's mother and Seo Dal-mi and Won In-jae's grandmother
Song Seon-mi as Cha Ah-hyun, Seo Dal-mi and Won In-jae's mother
Having divorced her husband for quitting his job, she ends up marrying Doo-jung , though she is shown to regret leaving Seo Dal-mi's dad for him as he cheats on her, yet enjoys the money that comes with him.
Kim Joo-hun as Seo Chung-myung, Seo Dal-mi's and Won In-jae's father
Having had enough of being degraded at work, he decides to start his own business, which leads to his divorce and after a year, he manages to get a deal and it's implied that he is the one that gave the idea for the name "Sandbox" during his talk with the owner. On the very same day, he dies in the bus while going home due to brain injuries.
The episode opens with display by "Sand Box". Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy), Han Ji-pyung (Kim Seon-ho) and Won In-jae (Kang Han-na) are going to attend Start-Up Relay Lecture. The story starts in flashback around 15 years back, Dal-mi and In-jae's parents were fighting. Choi Won-deok (Kim Hae-sook) grandmother of Dal-mi and In-jae, who sold corn-dogs from kiosk gave shelter to young Ji-pyung (Nam Da-reum), an orphan and winner of Virtual Investment Competition. With his help she opened a bank account. Dal-mi and In-jae's parents got divorce. Dal mi stays with father and In-jae goes with mother. As Dal-mi feels lonely her grandmother made Ji-pyung write fake letters to Dal-mi, in the name of Nam Do-san (Nam Joo-hyuk) a winner of Mathematics Olympiad. They exchanged letters by keeping them in birdhouse. In the meantime Ji-pyung made investment using Won-deok's money unknowingly to her and makes it ten times. Seo Chung-myung (Kim Joo-hun) Dal-mi's father tried to get investment for a start-up. Cha Ah-hyun (Song Seon-mi), Dal-mi and In-jae's mother remarries and goes to USA with In-jae. In present, Dal-mi and In-jae meet. In-jae invites Dal-mi to 'Networking Event' with her pan-pal Do-san, to prove that her choice of going off with her mother was right. In flashback, in a spring, young Dal-mi lost her father after a car accident. Do-san's letters kept her company. Ji-pyung went to Seoul and became rich. Fifteen years later, Dal-mi needs Do-san by her side to prove In-jae wrong. Ji-pyung, now a successful Venture Capitalist comes to meet grandmother. The episode ends at Do-san's program "Optical Image Recognition" working successfully.
"F F F (Family, Friends, Fools)"
October 18, 2020 (2020-10-18)
Ji-pyung gives his business card to grandmother. As Dal-mi is looking for Do-san, she asks Ji-pyeong to find him. Working at 'Lucca The Tea' outlet, Dal-mi achieves daily sales record as JKN organises a guerilla concert. Ji-pyung finds Do-san, who is working at his start up Samsan Tech. He and his friends are awaiting for CODA results, a contest from USA. They have one-in-a-million chance of winning it. As his father stops investment he puts office items and personal baseball he received 14 years back, signed by Park Chan-ho, on sale through net. Dal-mi contacts him for buying it. On learning that Ji-pyung stops their meeting by hijacking Do-san. He gives letters written by Dal-mi (addressed to Do-san) to Do-san for reading. Ji-pyung requests him to go to Networking event for a monetary reward, but he asks Ji-pyung to enter him in the 'Sand Box'. Ji-pyung refuses. Later Do-san decides to go to the event to be with Dal-mi. The episode ends with CODA team finding that Nam Do-san has won the award as he got the maximum points.