Korea gives foreign startups US$1mil opportunity to break into Asia

  • 50 high-potential startups from around the world will go to Korea for four months
  • This year, the programme will run from August to early December


Korea gives foreign startups US$1mil opportunity to break into Asia


THE K-Startup Grand Challenge is recruiting 50 high-potential startups from around the world to accelerate in Korea for four months.

The programme empowers startups to take a bold step into the Asian market through government support, investment opportunities, and business partnerships.

Benefits include:

  • Office space in a Global Startup Campus
  • Flights and living expenses
  • Grants of up to USD$130,000
  • Corporate connections & mentoring
  • Visa and logistical support

Last year, over 2,400 startups from 124 countries applied for the K-Startup Grand Challenge. Throughout the programme, these startups secured over US$5.5 million in local and international investments, as well as signed 30 contracts and 120 MoUs.

"The programme provided us with crash courses on how to startup in Korea, how to take care of patents and IP protections in Korea, how to validate our technologies and products for the Asian market, and how to expand to the Asian market in general," Chris Georgiev, founder and marketing director of Imagga, explains.

 Imagga won fourth place at the K-Startup Grand Challenge demo day and collaborated with KIA Motors in 2016.

This year, the programme will run from August to early December.





Throughout the acceleration period, startups will get office space and prototyping facilities in a US$160 million Startup Campus in Pangyo, Korea's Silicon Valley. Pangyo is home to many Korean tech giants like Kakao and Naver, and is just 14 minutes from Gangnam by subway.

Startups will also be able to network with major companies such as Samsung, Hyundai Motors, SK, LG, Lotte, GS, Hanwha, Hanjin, Doosan, KT, CJ, Hyosung, Kakao, and Naver.

On the final demo day, startups will present their achievements in front of investors, and the top 25 startups will receive a grant worth US$27,000. On top of that, winners will receive prizes ranging from US$6,000 to US$100,000 as well as potential investments from accelerators and local investors.

All technology-based startups that were founded after April 2012 and have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) can apply at http://www.k-startupgc.org.

After the initial online screening, the final 50 startups will be invited to a follow-up interview, through which five accelerators running the program will decide who to invite into their batches. The interview will take place either in each startup's home country or via video conference.

Applications will remain open to startups through June 7. 


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