The K-Startup Grand Challenge is back. As a fully-funded by the Korean government initiative, the programme supports foreign startups who plan on entering the South Korean market. Among the entities supporting the programme is the Ministry of SMEs, National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), and Startups (MSS). The application window shall remain open till June 25.
Startups that end up being selected will receive lots of benefits during a 3 month-long itinerary. This covers networking opportunities and learning from people with the right expertise on how best they can raise capital and develop their businesses. In addition, the mentioned startups can look forward to a bright future in Asia. Korea is strategically located in the Asia region and has the right economic relationships with neighboring countries that could prove very beneficial to your business.
As of 2019, African startups might be eligible for application, according to Jonghyun Lee, who manages NIPA. In 2018, only one African startup participated in the programme. Subsequent years saw no African team make it past the global audition process. The K-Startup Grand Challenge intends to invite several more startups to participate this year.
What makes the accelerator unique from the others is the fact that it specifically focusses on foreign-based startups. It also allows startups less than 7 years in operation to gain access to the Korean market provided they have the right product and vision.
The sectors expected to feature are AI, robotics, cloud computing, big data, IoT, auto Tech, VR, smart city, health, green energy, semiconductor, 3D printing, fintech, information security, blockchain, media, logistics,eCommerce, O2O (online-to-offline), etc.