The Knowledge of Enterprise Business (KoBE) and U.S. International Development Center (USIDC) co-hosted its Quarterly Business Seminar on April 24th in Tysons Corner.  

Mr. John Yu, the owner of Office Evolution-Tysons Corner graciously provided his venue for the KoBE/USIDC Seminar & Networking. As a venue sponsor, his opening remarks included the introduction of the innovative and subscription business concept of Office Evolution for startups and freelancers: a cost-effective solution to a traditional office rental business. His Office Evolution provides: 1. Cost-Effective way to grow a business, 2. Autonomy and flexibility, 3. Distraction-free workspace, 4. Networking opportunities, 5. Office resources and Amenities.

(Office Evolution Tysons Corner Facebook)



This Quarterly Seminar is a platform for KoBE/USIDC members to introduce their business and expand their network. Accordingly, every Semina has a “member presentation” opportunity. Mr. Jimmy Lee, VP of Relationship Manager for Business Banking Group at Bank of Hope, was invited this time. He shared Bank of Hope’s profile today with us, only super regional Korean-American bank in the nation and leading national presence with full-service branch operations in 9 states. He also briefly talked about transformation to a diversified financial institution.

(Bank of Hope LinkedIn)


(Photo caption (from left): KoBE’s honorary board member Mr. Terry Lierman; Thomas Hong; USIDC Founder & President Mr. Matthew Lee; and KoBE Chairman Mr. Jack Lopez)

KoBE and USIDC come to realize the importance of helping young leaders across different professional fields. The two organizations started its official partnership with the International Leadership Foundation, a nationwide non-profit providing leadership training, scholarships, and federal government internship opportunities with Asian Pacific American students. Besides it, KoBE and USIDC discover outstanding  Korean/Asian American students and millennial leaders and support them with a scholarship or volunteer internship at the KOBE/USIDC HQ. As part of these initiatives, KOBE/USIDC was delighted to provide a scholarship to Thomas Hong, who participated in the 2018 PyongChang Winter Olympics as a National Team Athlete of US speed skating. Our attendees found out that he is not just a beneficiary of the scholarship but a contributor to our group by inspiring us through his stories.  Everyone was impressed by him, succession in the United States as a son of Korean-American immigrant family and as a proud U.S. citizen. A week later he received the scholarship from KoBE/USIDC, he was invited to the White House with other Team USA athletes to celebrate their achievements.

(“Get to Know Team USA’s Thoma Hong” Video)



This Seminar’s main theme was bridging digital and generational divides among Korean/Asian American small business owners and entrepreneurs: learn about utilization of technology  and innovation from millennial entrepreneurs and develop new business models and strategies through a multi-generational conversation.

Ms. Aerica Banks, who is a perfect fit to discuss and expand the theme, was invited as keynote. She is currently working for the Patent Strategy Team at Google and serving as COO of Asian Google Network and a Co-founder of BEACON: The D.C. Women Founders Initiative.  She was named a 2017 Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine and joined the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurs. She has been committing to and enthusiastic for “building inclusive ecosystems with intentionality” working for young, minority women entrepreneurs focused on innovation-centered businesses. She unfolded priorities of the BEACON: expanding access to capital, providing resources and support, creating new business opportunities, and inspiring the next generation for women entrepreneurs. She also talked about Google’s innovative programs, tools, and products which help small business owners and startups such as “Accelerate with Google” and “Startup with Google.”  

BEACON Facebook

BEACON Twitter (@thebeacondc)

(Photo caption (from left): KoBE Chairman Mr. Jack Lopez, ILF Executive Director Soo Kyung Koo, and USIDC Founder & President Mr. Matthew Lee presented an appreciate certificate to Ms. Aerica Banks.)


Our special speaker Mr. Michael Wu has interesting stories. He full-time job is a federal law enforcement officer and runs his own business, Kung Fu Tea shops, as his part-time job. Moderated by Ms. Evelynn Bui, Program Director of the International Leadership Foundation, the conversation covered different lifestyles, perspectives, and desires of millennials which helped our audience think of a new generation of customers and consumers. Grown up in a traditional Chinese immigrant family, he has quickly emerged himself into new challenges and exploration with his entrepreneurial spirit and become an emerging leader across sectors. Mr. Wu said the millennial generation is a digital generation and will not be detached to technology; however, he emphasized that technology should not be an invader of our lives, but a tool for better lives as he can run his shops remotely “as a hobby” thanks to technology and it makes his life more fun and exciting.

Michael Wu’s Fung Fu Tea Shop in Virginia Beach & Harrisonburg



The second Business Seminar was concluded with fruitful networking among attendees and members of KoBE and USIDC. Next Seminar schedules are:

September 18, 2018

December 18, 2018

Stay tuned ( @KOBEusa_Tweets & @USIDC1 ) !