ProcessGold during the Plug and Play event in Seoul, South Korea.
ProcessGold is expanding new horizons, this time with Plug and Play – the developer of innovations.
If you are unfamiliar with Plug and Play, all you need to know is that they are the best at bringing great minds together. P&P connects innovative startups and large corporations, encouraging them to change the world together.
Therefore, among other pre-selected start-up projects, ProcessGold was invited to South Korea, in order to meet the team along with LG Electronics, and see what cooperation between the two companies could lead to.
Curious about how it went?
Luckily, Rudolf Kuhn – Chief Mining Officer at ProcessGold – delightfully shares his insights from his trip to South Korea.
Why South Korea?
At some point, ProcessGold and Plug and Play, as internationalization partners, realized they had the same expansion goals and decided to contact LG as the first major corporate partner in South Korea.
Several meetings with large enterprises were organized by P&P and carefully selected startups were invited to participate – thus, we were given this exciting opportunity.
Since the invitation sounded too good to let go, I had to cancel my Easter plans with family and fly the 10 long hours to Seoul.
The Korean experience
After arriving in Seoul and having a short nap at the hotel, I met the Plug and Play team for a Korean Barbecue dinner. Korean Barbecue is known for having the possibility to grill the meat directly at the table. Very tasty!
In terms of transportation, I found Korean taxis to be cheap in comparison to Germany (and probably also the Netherlands). An even cheaper option was the metro – and that was an interesting place.
I’ve never seen a metro so clean. Although, the funniest thing was my height. While in Europe I am considered tall (197cm), in Korea I was giant. It was especially noticeable in the metro as I could barely find a seat and mostly stood in the middle of a local crowd, exceeding them by at least 2 heads, while schoolgirls were secretly trying to take pictures of me.
Getting back to Korean Barbecue – if you don’t eat meat, you will have a hard time in Korea. The concept of vegetarianism doesn’t seem to be very widespread there, and my vegetarian colleague had quite a challenge during the trip. All food served to us during the week always included meat.
What about coffee? Same story. Personally, I prefer tea and I thought that tea was part of Asian culture as well. Not in South Korea! Surprisingly, South Koreans are serious coffee drinkers and at no meeting could I get a cup of tea. Not to mention the amount of coffee shops – I have never seen so many before!
Well, impressed enough I was ready for the next day!
In the morning we were welcomed by LG as guests and were invited to an Innovation Tour through the LG Science Park. I was really impressed by the projects LG was working on. I was especially amazed by the rollable 60” TV that simply rolls up into a low sideboard when not in use. Appeared to be quite handy to me.
Besides that, all the robots they were working on seemed unusual. I tend to use bots in my own household, but one of the LG bots – a 30cm tall robot standing on a bedside table was looking at me quite suspiciously. Just imagine: two big eyes glowing in the dark, interacting not only verbally but also with gestures and touch (it could apparently stroke and knock). How interesting is that? I asked the lady that was giving us the tour if the robot could also blush and look shy, the lady didn’t know the answer, but she blushed and looked shy.
The LG team provided us with a high level of hospitality, we had the opportunity to have lunch looking at the newly created park, which LG had planted according to the plan. Really impressive.
Of course, the most interesting part started after – the presentations of 10 ambitious companies, united by one goal – to give this world more technology and room for innovative development.
Interestingly in Korea, networking works quite differently from what we see in western countries. People tend to keep their distance, don’t interact openly and don’t ask too many questions. Although they do ask for business cards, they love business cards – I had packed a big pile and it still wasn’t enough.
While in the US everyone asks for LinkedIn codes nowadays, in Korea they prefer the traditional way of exchanging business cards and consider it a ritual. TIP: When accepting a business card, you should always take it with both hands and bow when handing yours over. This is mainly done as a show of respect and ethics.
Presenting your business card with only words, handing it over with one hand, or simply pushing it over the table – these are all unacceptable in South Korea.
The day has come. The main event that led to me enlightening an audience of about 200 executives from various LG units on Process Mining in just 5 minutes.
I had several opportunities to speak with potential partners and explain our solution in more detail. It was a great pleasure to talk with LG CNS – the central IT company and service unit for the LG Group. They were quite impressed with the capabilities of ProcessGold and were interested in discovering further opportunities of process optimization. At the end of our meeting I was told I’d be contacted, and well – this indeed happened. Which is quite in Korean tradition – the feedback is positive but reserved.
Part 3. Partnership opportunities
Now, having been back in Germany for quite a while, I am happy to finally conclude – the trip was incredible. Not only for discovering a new culture, but as a great step forward in expanding our partnerships.
Eventually, I got a chance to travel to South Korea again. The country that I like more and more each day, has again welcomed me with exceptional hospitality, just like the first time.
This time, we officially sealed our partnership with LG. After several presentations, demos, test environments, acquaintances and interesting meetings in Korean, our Process Mining project with LG has begun.
This is the first project of ProcessGold Process Mining in South Korea and I believe there will be many more exciting developments in the future!