For global entrepreneurs and startups who want to explore business opportunities in South Korea and expand business in Asia, the Korean government’s ace program K-Startup Grand Challenge is an assured gateway. The program, supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), is now accepting applications for the program till June 25th, 2020.  

The program is an all expenses paid and the first of its kind in Asia with grand prizes for top five teams. The best winning team gets $120,000 and further assistance to develop business in South Korea. 

About K-Startup Grand Challenge

K-Startup Grand Challenge is a startup accelerator program conducted and financed by the Korean government. The program is an initiative to support foreign startups that want to enter the Korean market and further explore the international markets. The program has been promoting Korea as the global leading startup business hub since 2016. 

The selected startup teams get many benefits with the 3-month program from networking opportunities, learning from experts, financial support to business development.  Importantly, the selected startups can look forward to a promising future in Asia, considering the convenient geographical location of the country and its strategically beneficial relationships with other countries in the sub-continent. 

In 2019, the program had received applications from 1,677 teams from 95 countries. Thirty-eight teams from Europe, Asia, and America had been selected for the accelerating program. Out of that 20 teams were selected on final demo day, and they received further follow–up support from January to April 2020.

In 2020, there is scope for 60 talented and innovative startup teams to be part of the enriching program

The Selection Process and the 2020 KSGC Program

The application and promotion of the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020 have started with the last date for submitting applications being June 25th, 2020. An expert panel of judges will be reviewing the applications, and the global selection process will start in early July 2020. 

Sixty selected teams will participate in the accelerating program from September 1st, 2020, to November 30th, 2020. The top 30 will attend the demo day from November 19th to 21, 2020, and get further support for business development from January to April 2021.

Who can apply?

  • Startups that are less than 7 years old or pre-entrepreneur whose representative holds a foreign nationality or is an -overseas Korean (foreign compatriot). 

  • Promising startups with a clear objective to expand into Asia by using the Korean market as a stepping stone. 

  • Startups with interests in Artificial Intelligence, Big-Data, Cloud computing, Networking, IoT, Robotics, Auto Tech, VR/AR/MR, Smart city, Health, Semiconductor, Green, 3D printing, Block chain, Fintech, Information Security, e-commerce, O2O, Logistics, Media, etc. are encouraged to apply.


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