Koreans are naturally shy, and most are considered introverts. This is one of the reasons why many Koreans refuse to speak English even though they can. The mentality seems to be that if you are not perfect at something, you shouldn’t try. Koreans tend to be perfectionists, which can hurt their growth. This is because failing or learning from one’s mistake is the fastest track to success. This is why we decided to do an article on the best networking tips for entrepreneurs in Korea.

Networking is one of the most critical aspects of being a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs must establish relationships and connections with various stakeholders, including customers, investors, partners, and others. These relationships can help entrepreneurs access valuable resources and support, such as funding, advice, and expertise.

In addition, good networking skills are crucial if you want to make it outside Korea. Networking allows for greater business connections which will, in turn, create more opportunities. However, networking can be complex for Korean entrepreneurs who are naturally not outgoing, are not fluent in English, and feel uncomfortable in crowded networking events. Thankfully through our experience doing startup events in Korea, we were able to help shy entrepreneurs in Korea expand their networks. 

Here are some tips for Korean entrepreneurs to improve their networking skills and grow their network

Networking in Korea

Change your Mindset

When going to the next networking event or meetup, try to change your mindset. Don’t think of what you will say to these people, but how you can make these people feel more comfortable. Speak to them to see if you have common interests. Please don’t talk about business immediately; rather look for a conversation you can add to, whether it is sports, movies, or similar life experiences. Therefore go to networking events to find 4-5 people with who you can be potential friends.

Attending networking events and conferences is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to connect with like-minded people and learn about the latest trends and opportunities in their industry. Networking events are an opportunity to showcase their business, learn from other entrepreneurs, and meet potential customers, investors, and partners.

Networking events provide an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to build their reputations and establish themselves as experts in their industry.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

Know that networking is a skill that needs to be learned. Some, of course, have natural networking skills, but most, they will get better at it with time. The best way to start is to go with a natural extrovert and see what he or she does. Learn from them and try to incorporate those techniques in future meetups slowly. Again don’t put too much pressure on yourself…make this a journey where you know you will get better with time.

Korean Entrepreneurs Need to Practice Public Speaking

Koreans’ top fear is public speaking. To be great at networking, you should also be great at public speaking. However, it can be challenging. Therefore do public speaking through manageable bite-sized steps. Start with just one person. Once you feel confident speaking to that one person…move to two. Keep doing this until you lose that fear. For me, it took over 30 times, but after a few months, I had no issue speaking in front of 30 people…that is about the size of a classroom. The transition from 0 to 1 is more challenging than the transition from 30 to 300. It gets easier with experience and time. Therefore once you are at a networking event making small 3-4 people conversations will seem like a walk in the park.

If you are still having trouble speaking in public, try to take 2-3 shots of hard liquor. Those can can’t handle alcohol should take 1-2. This will not get you drunk or even tipsy. What it will do, however, is relax you and lower your inhibitions. From my experience, being at a BAC level of .05 is the perfect level for networking. This is probably 5-6 shots of soju if you can’t find any hard liquor around. A warning, if you get red after drinking alcohol, DO NOT USE THIS STRATEGY. 

Set Small Goals for Yourself 

To take the pressure off, think about making a plan. Entrepreneurs should identify their goals and objectives, the type of people they want to connect with, and the resources they need to achieve them. A plan should be created, considering the niche, industry, and location. Research, check what the competition is doing, and target the audience more efficiently. Having a plan will lessen your pressure because you know what you need to do. 

In addition, setting small goals for yourself before going to a startup event will be an excellent idea. As I mentioned, the purpose of meeting 4-5 people is a great starting point. This way, you will focus on meeting your goals instead of your insecurities. As long as the goals are achievable and realistic, you will be busy and won’t have time to be nervous. After the event ends and you have achieved your goals, you will feel better about yourself and set higher goals for the next event. 

Let Them Speak More

This is great for Koreans. Those with problems speaking in public or are generally shy can be great listeners. The key to being a great conversationalist is being unable to talk and let them speak. If you do all the talking, the person may feel you are uninterested in what they have to say and unsure of what action to take with the information you have given. 

Here are some go-to questions during networking at meetups in Korea

  • How long have you worked for your company? Do you like it? Is it a typical Korean company? 
  • Do you like your job? Why or why not? 
  • What is the working culture of the company? 

Korean Entrepreneurs Need to get on LinkedIn. 


Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are excellent tools for entrepreneurs to connect with stakeholders and expand their network. Entrepreneurs can join groups related to their industry, share helpful content, and engage with other entrepreneurs and customers. Social media can also help entrepreneurs to identify potential partners, investors, and customers by using targeted ads, search queries, and analytics.

Out of all these platforms, entrepreneurs in Korea should all be on LinkedIn. It is great to have gotten their Kakao ID, but it is also great to connect on LinkedIn. This is because you will be able to showcase your talent and skills and well get in connection with their contact. Koreans are slowly getting into LinkedIn because of the Blockchain scene in Korea. More and more Korean startups and companies are also creating their own company LinkedIn pages. In addition, this is a great platform to get a job in Korea with a global company.

Once you add the contact, seek out like-minded or specific contacts you want to know better within their network. Furthermore, be engaged. Comment on posts and keep up to date on the feeds so you can have something to talk about if and when you see them. 

Don’t Take Up Too Much of Someone’s Time

It could be easy to get caught up while you are networking, and you don’t realize you are taking up too much of their time. Before you even start networking, ensure you have some agenda and keep the conversation on the right track. No one is happy when someone takes up too much of their time, and it comes across as unprofessional. If you feel the conversation is too long, try to schedule a time to converse with them in depth later. 

Korean Entrepreneurs

Remember to Follow Up 

The most crucial part of networking is to follow up with the people they have met and maintain their relationships over time. Entrepreneurs should keep in touch with their stakeholders through emails, phone calls, or social media and offer them value and support. Building strong and lasting relationships takes time, effort, and commitment, but it can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses.

Creating a reason to keep networking is essential for those looking to build an authentic connection. If you see a video or article online that connects with a conversation you had during your meetup, feel free to send it. I would recommend one reconnect every six months at least. 

The best way to act at a networking event is to think of yourself as the host; it is your job to make them feel good and comfortable. Then try to find one or two subjects you can connect with them on. It is that simple. Business talk can always come later, so don’t think of this as networking but as making new friends. There are many meetups in Korea for Korean entrepreneurs, so it will be easy to grow your experience in a month. Hope to see you are the next event