Naver, the local search engine, which before Google better indexed content in the Korean language, and which provides the map service for geolocating here, has overturned the traditional work culture in South Korea, which was made up of hierarchies and extended hours until the weekend, introducing flexible working and meritocracy. And it inspired young Koreans to invest in their own business projects.
Startups, where are we at?
In Seoul there are several spaces, mostly free, financed by the public administration that help launch new startups and receive funding. In fact, there are quite a few foreigners who come here to present their ideas. Busan, the largest city in the south of the country, which competes with Rome to host the next Expo in 2030, has taken the opportunity of this candidacy to support technological entrepreneurship and has transformed degraded areas such as the one around the train station, once known as Texas Street, the red light district, in an innovation hub with free workspaces and training places, for anyone working in the technology sector, including journalists.
K-Food, instrument of international diplomacy
This country, after having successfully invested in the entertainment industry, with K-Pop and cinema, is now pouring its efforts into promoting its cuisine, K-food, in the world, in what is called “food diplomacy “: building international relations starting from food. In Seoul we met a young startup, Hanseek, which is mapping Korean food to match food ingredients with the tastes of the non-Korean population. “We are creating a platform that helps foreigners enjoy Korean culture to the fullest, starting with food,” tells us Yennie Oh, CEO of Hanseek, which is currently collecting the data that artificial intelligence needs to give advice on K-food, based on culinary tastes. The app also allows you to create meetups between foreigners and locals, to better appreciate one of the most important ingredients of food: an opportunity to create new connections.