SEOUL, South Korea — As a bookish entrepreneur who made his fortune in software before turning to philanthropy, Ahn Cheol-soo has been called South Korea's Bill Gates. Now he's looking for a new title: Mr. President.

The political novice announced his candidacy last month, shaking up a campaign dominated by South Korea's two major political parties with a message of change that appeals to the nation's young and hopeful. Ahn say having no experience may be better than "bad experience" at a time when South Korea needs new direction.

Ahn is the founder of South Korea's largest antivirus maker, AhnLab. He is widely respected in South Korea, though many are skeptical about his ability to govern a country of 50 million people with the threat of nuclear-armed North Korea on its doorstep.