Date: May 19, 2015
Written by: Rob Sihota
Today started at the excellent King’s Buffet at the Grand Ambassador Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. We took our very snazzy bus to Hanyong University which included a crash course in Korean greetings, provided by our tour guide, Sue. Sue also provided us with lots of information about Korean culture, including info about Big Bang, a very popular K-Pop band.
Hanyong University gave as a gracious welcome, which included a banner strung over the business building. Following this, we had two excellent lectures by professors from Hanyong University. The first, on the technological evolution of Korea gave us an understanding the past 60 years of Korean economic development and their contribution to technological development. The second lecture focused on the success factors of Korean firms. The Chaebol structure and vertical integration were discussed at length by both professors, given that they are integral to the creation of the Korean economy.
During our lunch break, we took a brief tour around the Hanyong University campus, where we were lucky to see the music students singing and playing traditional Korean music in the quad.
We went to Carima 3D printing following our lectures at HUBS. Our company visit was led by BK Lee, the founder and CEO of Carima. Carima manufactures and markets 3D printers – some of the applications includes medical, dental and architecture modeling. Mr. Lee’s background was in laser jet printing before starting Carima two years ago. We saw a plastic figure being printed a machine of theirs, of which they export roughly 100 units monthly to 30 different countries. Canada is not one of their current markets, so there was some discussion on the bus following the tour about the viability of bringing such machines to Canada.
Thanks to the Korean Tourism Organization, we were able to enjoy a delicious meal at Bulgogi Brothers. We sampled a bunch of traditional Korean dishes including picked radish, raw squid, and a boiled beef dish. We also sampled a popular drink called somac, which is a mix of beer and soju (Korean vodka). As you’d expect, the somac was quite strong, so the bus ride back to the hotel was filled with laughter and music courtesy of Mr. Kim, our magnanimous driver.