Foreign start-ups edge in on Korean tech turf

Korea opens up to foreign services, workplace diversity Published May 22, 2015, in The Korea Herald This is the second article in a series on foreigners working in Korea’s technology start-up ecosystem. ― Ed. Tech industry pundits in Korea used to joke that this is where overseas companies would come to die. In a country once dominated by local titans like Nate and Cyworld, foreign rivals like Yahoo and Myspace struggled to connect with local Web users and eventually backed out. But the situation has flipped in the past three to five years, they say, as social media and content…

Diversity missing in Korea’s creative economy drive

Global mindsets needed for shift to software, experts say This is the first article in a series on foreigners working in Korea’s technology start-up ecosystem. — Ed. Published May 8, 2015, in The Korea Herald   With the world’s best broadband networks, global technology giants, game-crazy smartphone users and a hefty 4 trillion won ($3.7 billion) government budget to foster the local start-up ecosystem, Korea is building itself up to be the next major Asian tech hub. But on the ground level, financial, legal, language and cultural roadblocks in Korea are still pushing many foreign tech entrepreneurs to favor Singapore or Hong Kong, industry…

Korea mulls lifting foreign worker limit

Published April 22, 2015, in The Korea Herald The South Korean government is considering the need to remove the limit on the number of foreign workers a company can hire, a move that would ease hiring, especially for small businesses, according to a foreign business representative in Korea. French-Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman David-Pierre Jalicon said Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick wants to remove the foreign worker quota by the end of the year. The quota requires companies to hire five Koreans full-time and have a yearly fiscal revenue greater than 60 million won to hire a…

No two chaebol are alike, author says

Published April 9, 2013, in The Korea Herald While Koreans’ rising presence on the global stage is hard to ignore, how to do business with them as a non-Korean is an increasingly tricky area little covered in English-language literature. Don Southerton explores the niche with his recently published book “Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business,” which picks apart how to work with a Korean conglomerate from the ground up, for non-Koreans working in Korean branches overseas. “Over the years I witnessed firsthand cross-cultural issues that surfaced as Korean companies expanded globally. My role has been to address these issues…

Foreigners should not expect ‘freebies’

Korea Business Central community fills in gaps on doing business locally, creator says Published Dec. 11, 2012, in The Korea Herald   With the eighth-most business-friendly environment in the world ― so said the World Bank in October ― along with free government-provided services in English, Japanese and Chinese at the Seoul Global Business Center, free economic zones scattered across the country and various foreign direct investment incentives, there’s something to be said about Korea’s initiatives to help foreign businesses. It’s that foreign business owners should not expect any of it, according to Steven Bammel, creator of Korea Business Central, a…

Foreign start-ups hope city’s support breeds success

Seoul Global Business Centers offer multitude of free services for foreign start-ups Published Nov. 13, 2012, in The Korea Herald The following is the first in a series of stories featuring support and networking systems for foreigner-owned businesses in Korea. ― Ed.   Lia Iovenitti, president of market entry assistance company Conselit, put it like this: “The more you’re successful, the more money you earn, the more taxes you pay, the more Korean employees you employ. So the more successful we are, the better it goes for the Seoul Metropolitan Government and for the business situation. It’s a win-win situation for…

Youth start-up programs young, but blooming

Public and private sectors boost entrepreneurial support to tackle nation’s unemployment problem Published Oct. 3, 2012, on The Korea Herald   In an effort to tackle youth unemployment and boost young people’s enthusiasm for starting their own businesses in a conglomerate-dominated economy, the public and private sectors alike are boosting their entrepreneurship programs for ambitious new university graduates. Chung Ju-yung Entrepreneurship Competition The latest of these programs is the Asan Nanum Foundation’s Chung Ju-yung Entrepreneurship Competition, which awarded its first six winning teams in August for their ambitious industrial ideas. Created by the Asan Nanum Foundation, which is funded by…