South Korea invites foreign startups and enterprises to explore growth opportunities. A thriving economy in Asia, where global corporates like LG, Samsung, and Hyundai and innovative startups coexist, South Korea is considered the gateway to expanding business in Asia and the Southeast Asian region. Hence, when South Korea opens its doors to global startups, they should grab the chance.
Korean government’s most coveted accelerator program K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC), supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and organized by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), is open for applications from global startups for its 2022 edition.
The startup accelerator program, launched in 2016, supports foreign startups that want to enter the Korean market and further explore the international markets. Over the years, the program has supported startups and businesses that have succeeded in multiple fields globally like Artificial Intelligence, fintech, logistics, biotechnology, robotics, game development, IoT, e-commerce, etc.
In the past, the participating startups have come from various countries across Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia. The ultimate goal of KSGC is to promote the expansion of open entrepreneurship in Asia and assist in South Korea’s evolution as a prominent business hub in the region.
K-Startup Grand Challenge 2022 will start accepting applications for its 3.5 month-long all-expenses-paid program from April 15th. KSGC 2022 will be held from August 1st to November 15th, 2022, at the Startup Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley. Sixty startups will be selected to participate in the program.
For 2022, the top ten performing teams will get monetary grants worth $320,000. Also, the top thirty startups will get further assistance to expand business in Korea.
The Selection Process and the KSGC 2022 Program
The application and promotion of the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2022 are starting on April 15th, with the last date for submitting applications being May 31st, 2022. An expert panel of judges will then review the applications, and the global audition process for the top 60 teams will be held from June 20th to 24th, 2022, with the result announcement on June 30th
Who can apply?
- Startups less than 7 years old or Pre-entrepreneur whose representative holds a foreign nationality.
- Promising startups with a clear objective to expand into Asia by using the Korean market as a stepping stone.
The 60 selected teams will participate in the accelerator program from August 1st to November 15th, 2022. Each of the 60 teams will receive $11,136 to cover living expenses for the 3.5 months.
At the end of the 3.5 months accelerator period, a demo day will be held where the top 10 teams will get prizes and after the demo day top 30 teams will get settlement supporting fee of $11,136 through a settlement program. The settlement program will be from January 15th to June 30th, 2023.
Benefits for the startups at a glance
Networking and Expert support: Mentoring & information sessions, coaching on Korean and Asian business culture, and seminars on topics like patents, accounting regulations, tax laws, and more.
Financial support: Living expenses worth $11,136 and further financial assistance for top performers.
Additional Investments: The accelerators may make equity investments in the most promising startups. Startups may have access to other VCs and investors who may choose to invest.
Break into Asia & Corporate Partnerships: The startups can meet Korea’s top tech companies with expertise ranging from smartphones to semiconductors. Also, easy access to other Asian countries.
Access to State-of-Art Resources: The teams get to stay and work at a global startup campus in Pangyo, strategically located in the south of Seoul. The startups get access to world-class prototyping, testing facilities, and expert support.
Administrative support & Visa acquisition: NIPA and the team of the program make sure the visa process is smooth and timely. The startups will have access to administrative support, translation service, and interpretation to make work convenient and productive while in Korea.
For further information and the application for K-Startup Grand Challenge,
- visit the website – https://www.k-startupgc.org/
- and check the Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/kstartupgc)
- and the LinkedIn page (https://www.linkedin.com/company/kstartupgc) for more information and further updates.
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