King of the Hill

Today began with an early departure at 7:30am in order to wiggle through traffic to Samsung Biologics. The presentation and tour were filled with confidential information, but I was overall very impressed with the facility. After describing their strategies and purpose of investment it is no surprise they grew to be a large competitor within its young life. After our VIP tour we were off to lunch back in the city, as our next destination was City Hall.

Seoul City Hall is a marvelous work of architecture that towers over the Old City Hall (Now a public library).

With most of the building open to the public, we were able to go on a tour throughout the building and learn some of its historical significance. the basement floor of city hall is actually part-museum, as they were required to preserve the relics they found underneath the soil during construction. We also entered Old City Hall where the top floor is a small garden overlooking the city square.

Next up was a visit to the Seoul Global Startup Center (GSC). The GSC is government funded and brings in numerous start-ups every “batch” while facilitating an environment to grow. We got to see a little of the ins-and-outs of running a startup inside the GSC and discuss some of the difficulties in the process. For example, South Korea is a very homogenous country, and the GSC hosts many foreigners, who often struggle creating a project targeted at the niche market in South Korea.

In the night-time, a group of us utilized the excellent public transit system for a subway to bus ride up to Seoul Tower. In the heart of the city, there was a beautiful 360 degree view atop the mountain of skyscrapers and the river and palaces all around us. Recognized as a fairly romantic location, one of the balconies consisted of an enormous lock-chain for couples to partake in. With the actual fence inaccessable, all new locks were simply hooked onto the locks behind it, creating a large unified wall of connections. The view from Seoul Tower was one of my favorite things so far as I was just amazed at the full circle of development surrounding the mountain.

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