Alex talks with Hailey Yang, CEO of Orang&Orang (and CoChair KBLA) about her project with the German government. It is a virtual tour of Korea for 12 of Germany’s most innovative company to Korea to find potential business partners here. Hailey’s passion is to help Korean firms find the best overseas partners. And even though COVID-19 has put a stop to many forms of business matching, Hailey and her team at Orang&Orang have created a value-packed virtual tour including seminars, 1:1 meetings and more.
Alex then talks with Sarah Jung CMO of Argos Vision, who gives us a wonderful insight into how robot vision and robot eyes are coming closer and closer to human capabilities. Sarah also talks about how the face of Korean business is changing. As larger corporations look towards smaller, more nimble companies who can deliver solutions tailored-made.
Today’s episode is brought to you by The Four Seasons Seoul, elegance in the heart of Seoul.
Alex talks with Hailey Yang about virtual business tours, and then Sarah Jung about robot vision.
Alex Jensen: It’s Tuesday, October 5, hope you had a good long weekend and that we can ease you back into working mode with our latest edition of Koreabizcast with the KBLA. I’m Alex Jensen, and it’s great to be with you. Now, virtual events might be a major undertaking at any time. But what about a virtual trip by delegation from abroad? conducted over days or even weeks, not hours. We’ll hear from someone who is taking on such a challenge from today and hear how she’s going about it. Plus, how would you fancy marketing robot vision? If you’ve ever seen Westworld, either the old movie or the newer TV series, it might sound frightening, but the reality could be a much more positive game changer. And to talk about both these issues, we get to welcome two of the brightest women on Korea business scene. Today’s episode is brought to you by the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, stylish elegance in the very heart of the city.
Alex Jensen: Now the German government has established a foreign market entry program to help German companies succeed in Korea and also to connect firms from both countries. So, a delegation of 12 leading German companies is beginning a virtual trip to Korea from today, organized in part by our KBLA Co-Chair Hailey Yang, and her company Orang&Orang. Hailey, great excuse to talk with you on the podcast for the first time since our pre-pilot, I think. Thank you very much for taking the time.
Hailey Yang: Hi, Alex, thank you for having me today.
Alex Jensen: I’m really unclear on what a virtual trip is, especially as it’s over a number of days or even weeks. Can you introduce this project for us?
Hailey Yang: Sure, yeah, this is a funny because it’s only due to the actual situation with regards to COVID-19. The business integration project, and it’s a highlight the individual B2B meetings is planned to be a virtual event. So, the delegation trip is planned to take place from the today to 19th of October 2021. And this includes there from the virtual conference, virtual seminar and virtual B2B business meetings and also the virtual tour, so all the hybrid event during the for two weeks, because they cannot travel physically at this moment. So, for the seminar and conference program, we invited the local experts in who can introduce about the local market and the situation and also all the medical procedure things happen in Korea. And for other days, we already worked in for the business matchmaking. So, the German firms, they are going to meet the Korean companies who has the potential business opportunities. And for other two days, we organize either virtual tour through feasting, the medical clusters here in Korea, like Daegu, and the other one is to private hospitals like Hallym Medical Center, so they got to have the full understanding of the how the counseling procedures are done. And also, how is the ecosystem is organized to here in Korea
Alex Jensen: But Orang&Orang is by no means limited to healthcare. And perhaps you can tell us a bit more about your company’s role and how you got involved.
Hailey Yang: Sure, the Orang&Orang is the ‘Orang’ means it’s from ‘Orangutans’ so Orang means the human being, so we are connecting the people and people and also business and business. So, we are engaging from the market study. So, we provided the Market Report for the German delegation. So, they could have the full insight to understand the Korea market. And the second, we had an order individual workshops with the travel leading German companies. So, from the workshops, we could have understanding like, what they are doing and what is their rule by meeting their Korean entities. And now we are inviting the potential speakers for their conference programs and also at the same time promoting the event.
Alex Jensen: So, coming back to healthcare itself, and that’s a big focus for this virtual trip as you explained. How is the state of Korea’s healthcare market right now?
Hailey Yang: Yeah, actually, during the COVID-19, we were really focused from the overseas countries. So, market has a home for worried about tech companies such as Samsung and LG, everybody knows, and South Korea is the epicenter for technological innovations among the Asian markets. In spite of a relatively low population, South Korea is an ambitious market, ranking 12 largest pharmaceutical market among major countries. So, this this is already listed as the statistics and furthermore, according to Korea national enterprise for clinical trials, Seoul ranked number 1 among the cities this year of the number of clinical trial institutions and second, due to an aging population around the world, especially in South Korea. The proportion of chronic diseases such as a high blood pressure, diabetes, and others, along with the senile diseases such as dementia stroke, and Parkinson’s disease continues to increase. So as interest and consumption are expected to increase, the market size of the Bio industry is expected to continue to expand.
Alex Jensen: Right, it doesn’t surprise me at all, Hailey, either. Medication gets handed out like candy here. And it’s not hard to get a prescription and there’s been many times I’ve been given pills that I’ve not even wanted to use. But that must actually, when you do it on a national scale support the biopharmaceutical industry. Let’s elaborate a little further on the trend, though, that you say is expected to continue to expand.
Hailey Yang: Yeah, actually, you know, regarding the Korea by your market trend, we already done for the market research or for these projects. So as for the production scale of the Bio industry, the biopharmaceutical industry accounted for like 35% which is $3.4 billion and the bio food industry 29% around and accounting for 65% of the total production of both industries. In the domestic market proportions for the biopharma industry and the biochemical and energy industries are the most of them as over 68.4% and second in South Korea, major sub sectors over the biotech market or manufacturing and services. So why the market growth in R&D investment is a strong the need for a greater number or manufacturing and data analytics professionals that specialize either for the biotech market is needed for the efficiency enhancement of the overall biotech industry. And in last everybody knows last year in 2020, the demand for bio diagnostic kits at home and abroad is increasingly rapidly due to the spread of the COVID-19. So, in the in the case of a company’s specializing in the development of major genetic diagnostic kits. The shortage of production manpower is a serious as the production facilities are operated for 24 hours, responded to the bursting domestic and foreign orders. It is being invested. And as a focusing on production.
Alex Jensen: This is a really interesting point because I think many of us saw Korea jump into action during COVID-19 by investing heavily in for example, masks, which still goes on. But when it came to private diagnosis, the kits that we find in other countries don’t seem to have taken on as well here at home because it’s so much easier for low cost to get your test done at a local office, for example. But for exports then Korean companies they’ve really been going seriously into this diagnostic area for COVID-19. Is that right?
Hailey Yang: Yeah, sure. The many Korean companies they really worked hard for last two years. And also for me, for to Orang&Orang. We are not any trading companies about we could receive a lot of emails from overseas countries to look for the diagnostic kit. So, in Korea, we have the major Korean companies who is developing that diagnostic kit such as SEEGENE, SolGent and we also found the LabGenomics pioneer and Genematrix, KOGENE BIOTECH and some more still in Korea. So, I think due to the lack of, the due to the shortage of the diagnostic that overseas, but at the same time in Korea, we could have a lot of companies and who is developing the kits in various ways.
Alex Jensen: So, coming back to the purpose of your virtual trip you’ve got companies from both sides interested in connecting with each other what would be the next steps?
Hailey Yang: Um, yeah, first of all, I hope for the great success of the virtual delegation event from today to 19th. And secondly, I would like to support the German companies to start their business in Korea initially, which is my main job. In Korea we have a lot of medical empire clusters, so my last goal is connecting the German companies in the right cluster for both their great success and cluster’s development
Alex Jensen: Well, Hailey Yang if people want to connect with you and take their own ideas perhaps the next level with your support. How do they get in touch with Orang?
Hailey Yang: They can contact me by directly firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Alex Jensen: Well, we wish you all the best. Of course, not just that, but your KBLA venture as well. It’s been wonderful to have you on Koreabizcast today.
Hailey Yang: Thank you, Alex.
Alex Jensen: Well, that’s how it’s done managing a delegation from abroad on a virtual trip to Korea. We’ll get to robot vision in just a moment. But let me again say thank you to today’s sponsor Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul and invite you to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join our community or share any ideas for future episodes.
Alex Jensen: We recently heard on this podcast how wonderful the South Korean environments supposed to be for tech and innovation. Let’s check in on a tech startup now, ‘Argos vision’ which gives robots eyes, Sarah Jung is the Argos vision CMO and joins us now. Thanks for being with us, Sarah.
Sarah Jung: Thank you, Alex. Happy to be here.
Alex Jensen: I actually met you at an event A few months ago where we were having a demonstration of all different robotic capabilities. And from the moment I met you, even before there was a podcast, I wanted to interview you. So, it’s a real pleasure.
Sarah Jung: Thank you.
Alex Jensen: But giving robots eyes. It also sounds like a kind of short jump to a Westworld style future. What does it actually mean when we speak of robot vision?
Sarah Jung: Well, when we use words like intelligent or smart ahead of gadgets and technology these days, what we’re aiming for is to closely resemble human capabilities. So, for our goals vision to provide eyes to robot is just that, enabling robots to have human life vision, their main, two main features that our technology performs as the human eyes. One is the vastly wide view range, and the other is instant processing. To illustrate how this works, first, the human eyes horizontal view is wide enough that even as you gaze up front, you can still detect your side environment. The vertical view is also broad that even if your eyes are locked in on mine, if I try to kick you from below, you will be able to detect and avoid, our camera sensor presents just as much landscape. Secondly, we all know that human eyes initially capture images upside down on the retina but are instantly processed by the brain so fast that we barely notice. Our vision system provides the equivalent speed and quality for detection, recognition, processing and beyond. All of this so that robots can indeed fully interact with humans, like humans at a reasonably close range.
Alex Jensen: How did Argos vision actually develop this technology? though? I can’t even imagine starting but then again, I’m not particularly tech minded. Can you tell us the story?
Sarah Jung: Of course. Like others, the robot industry is on the verge of an innovative breakthrough. Robots are implemented with unprecedented mobility, performing mind blowing tasks on the move and implemented with AI related high tech so coming from a rich background of software engineering and hardware implementing our goals vision came to a professional judgment that despite the state of the art hardware, in spite of the breathtaking deep learning, machine vision event detection, ai technology today, the less than superb ability to grasp and process massive visual information was the bottleneck holding back the explosive potential of intelligent robots. performance, the rest is history.
Alex Jensen: Before we know it, we’re gonna have robot eyes everywhere. What’s the competitions like both here and abroad?
Sarah Jung: Well, so far, the key feature of robots was autonomous mobility, and LIDAR sensors work good and easy enough. However, smart robots are evolving towards intimately interacting with humans and for that to happen for robots to quickly and accurately recognize humans and their gestures, it’s essential to complement the robot system with camera sensors. The traditional LIDAR sensors aren’t without fault, like high cost, the incompetence of obstacle detection and of course, a rising health concerns. Naturally, there’s a strong demand for alternative sensors. Present day your best bet would be to install several camera sensors but added with a computing system. This doesn’t necessarily solve the cost and quality issues that I just mentioned. With this kind of shifting market and industry, several major player companies like FLIR or uprising startups, like cereal labs are carefully taking interest in this area. As one of their business segments. We are proud to announce that Argos vision is on the front line of this new paradigm. We’ve been approached by and are in projects with a number of dominant corporates, including Hyundai Motors.
Alex Jensen: And that’s one of the players I think that was involved. But it was the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport that invited me to that event, a few months ago that I refer to before and the demonstration we were getting was of a warehouse setting, at least in part, where you can imagine these robots taking a lot of manpower and doing so very intelligently. Thanks to having this vision that you’re describing. Can you tell us a bit more about the kind of support that Argos vision has felt in this country as a startup and how important that’s been?
Sarah Jung: The Korean government is very supportive with tech startups in terms of patient research and development, prototype production, and countless other nurturing systems. Our goals vision is especially grateful to the government for carefully arranged meetings with potential clients and investors, which were humbling and enlightening testing opportunities for proof of concept.
Alex Jensen: And I asked a guest recently what it was like operating in this environment when you’re surrounded by large conglomerates, you mentioned a conglomerate, or at least one of the major companies under Hyundai Group a moment ago. And obviously, that’s not been a bad thing for you. But is it daunting, as well, or actually just a positive to be in this environment,
Sarah Jung: Right. It’s quite an interesting era where technology and goods are shifting by the day, and unfortunately, conglomerates are somewhat struggling to keep up. As a result, they are resorting to startups like us to outsource or M&A. We are currently experiencing a high volume of interest investment attraction and business cooperating reach outs globally. So, I guess we can say that we’re at an exceedingly positive position in the industry.
Alex Jensen: Well, that’s very good to hear. But also, for you personally, I’m interested to ask you what it’s like marketing a product that’s highly complex from a tech standpoint. And you know, I know English is not your first language, and presumably, tech speakers, not your first, second or third language either, but you are marketing a great product. So, what’s it like?
Sarah Jung: I am constantly amazed, inspired, and humbled while marketing a meaningful part of an intricate world of smart robots. The application potential is endless, and the industry’s innovative growth is truly mind blowing to say the least. Because our technology is a rather innovative solution to the foggy industry bottleneck situation, it’s incredibly crucial that I quickly shed light and share Joy to the world. Our goals vision has come to those in need. Oftentimes, our clients are not camera sensor experts but robot development team leaders, which makes it challenging to convince them to shift from traditional sensors to our 3D camera sensor and vision system. However, eventually we are able to see eye to eye to robot eyes that carry out our clients mission and vision quite upon I used there I hope I didn’t lose you.
Alex Jensen: Still here. Final question though. Sarah, what are the plans for robot vision going forward? I know you can’t speak for the whole industry. But based on what you’ve gotten to be aware of.
Sarah Jung: Argos visions, camera sensors and vision system have already been tested with great clientele. You can meet us at CES Consumer Electronics Show 2022 next year, our developers kit will be ready for sale by the end of this year. Our product is mature and ready that we will be launching a global crowdfunding project to expand access for people in robots and eventually autonomous driving. Please stay tuned as we tear open a new horizon for smart robots and its services.
Alex Jensen: Of course, attainments, driving is another huge one where many of us will probably encounter robot eyes, not in the very near future. But definitely it seems to be on the visible horizon. If you like my Panda, Sara, by the way, CES, is that going to be in person? Do you think in 2022? Or do you think it’s going to be some kind of hybrid?
Sarah Jung: We will be there in person physically, we do expect some hybrid situation happening. But we will be very happy to meet potential clients and industry people.
Alex Jensen: Out in Las Vegas CES. Because I know 2021 was a virtual affair. It’s a good sign of moving on from the pandemic. Sarah Jung. CMO of Argos vision, thank you very much for being with us today.
Sarah Jung: Thank you.
Alex Jensen: Let me say thanks to Sarah again, and also Hailey Yang: before that for sharing their work and insights with Koreabizcast, and of course, to the hotel that brings you stylish elegance in the very heart of Seoul. I am of course referring to the Four Seasons and check out fourseasons.com/Seoul for more. And all that’s left to say is ‘Have a great day’. See you again tomorrow from 7am, Korea time.