It's been almost ten years since I was in Seoul professionally. The last time I had a very different uniform on my back, Yongsan base was much bigger, and Apgujeong was the "in" place. Oh how things have changed.
It's been eye opening what Seoul has achieved in that time. I just came back from Startup Engine, a government backed event by NIPA, and the quality of pitches truly were outstanding. I've got a great friend in local entrepreneur John Kim from Smile Family, who's building a great business. And Eugene and the folks over at Spark Labs are doing great things locally.
Seoul will be on the up and up. My sense is that the local ecosystem will increasingly turn out better entrepreneurs, better versed in pitching in English and embracing bigger innovations. The local investment scene will experiment away from manufacturing and real estate, and invest in startups. The talent pool that is currently being incubated in powerhouses like Naver and Daum will start joining startups in increasing rates. And let's not forget - we are currently dealing with a second generation of entrepreneurs who are incredibly supported by the first generation (those that has to rebuild post Korean War that ended in 1953).
Sure there will always be an element of Asian conservatism that adds friction to startup culture being mainstream. But I think Korea has a huge chance of overturning that.