K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019 by Korean Government


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The ambitious Asia-Pacific’s startup competition, K-Startup Grand Challenge is back for 2019!  The International Startup Competition 2019 is organized and financed by the Korean Government. The main objectives of the Korea Startup Grand Challenge are to promote the expansion of an open entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and to assist in South Korea’s evolution into a prominent startup business hub in the region. 


With South Korea’s Ministry of SME’s & Startups & National IT Industry Promotion Agency supporting the program, now is your chance to make your dream into realization! South Korea retained the global crown in the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, significantly revealing how its environment is a great place for startups to expand.

South Korea is conveniently located in East Asia, between China and Japan, with Hong Kong and Taiwan to the South. For a small country of 100,210 square kilometers (38,691 square miles), its capital is the world’s second largest metropolitan area with almost half of all Koreans living in Seoul.

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According to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Korea was second for receiving R&D investment and manufacturing. This year marks Korea’s 6th consecutive year to top the index overall as number one.

K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019 Details:

Host Country:

  • South Korea

Organized & Financed By:

  • South Korean Government

Startup Grand Challenge Location:

  • Startup Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley, Seoul South Korea

Startup Grand Challenge Dates:

  • August 16th, 2019 to the Demo day in December 2019

Target Sectors:

Startups from all around the world who are interested in expanding their business in Asia or Korea are encouraged to apply

  • Artificial Intelligence AI
  • Block Chain
  • Internet of Things IoT
  • Big Data
  • Cloud 
  • FinTech
  • SG
  • Smart City
  • Robotics 
  • Information Security
  • Software
  • Smart Factory
  • Wearables
  • Logistics
  • Digital Content
  • Urban Solutions
  • BioTech
  • UHD 
  • Gaming
  • Beauty and more.

Major Benefits:

  • ⭐️Each of the 40 startups in the program will receive about $10,840 per team (up to two members) to cover the living expenses over 3.5 months.
  • ⭐️Each of the selected top 20 startups will be eligible to receive total funding of an additional $10,840 for 3.5 months.
  • ⭐️One-on-one mentoring, pitching lessons and business lessons from a strong & extensive mentorship network
  • ⭐️Networking opportunities with South Korea’s influential and innovative tech companies
  • ⭐️Gaining access to South Korea’s most prominent VC and angel investors
  • ⭐️Providing a head start into South Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, and other regional markets for your business entry
  • ⭐️Robust startup infrastructure with state-of-the-art labs and facilities

Grant for the Top 4 Startups:

1st Prize : $100,000 (₩ 113,000,000)
2nd Prize : $ 40,000 (₩ 45,200,000)
3rd Prize : $ 20,000 (₩ 22,600,000)
4th Prize: $ 6,000 (₩ 6,780,000)

Why K-Startup Grand Challenge?

10 reasons why the K-Startup Grand Challenge is the best way to expand in Asia

The K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019 can be that fantastic global platform your startup needs by helping you break into the robust Asian market. Here are just 10 of the many compelling reasons why you must consider applying:

1. Korea can be your gateway to Asia

South Korea is conveniently located in East Asia, between China and Japan, with Hong Kong and Taiwan to the south. Affording you access to over a billion customers, it is a great location for startups looking to expand across Asia.

2. Korea’s tech game is on point

South Korea has an edge when it comes to high-tech. It is a leading manufacturer in cutting edge electronics and also one of the biggest consumers of these digital products. It also has the fastest average internet connection in the world. Also, South Korea’s highly advanced technology infrastructure allows for quick consumer consumption of new services.

3. You have access to state-of-the-art R&D labs

The challenge will give you access to world-class prototyping, testing facilities and expert support. The Pangyo Techno Valley is an innovation hub where SMEs and startups can participate in a mutual exchange of information with technology research institutes and large, global companies.

4. There’s a grant of USD 100,000 for the winner

There is a grant of USD 100,000 (113,000,000 KRW) for the winner, with USD 40,000 (45,200,000 KRW), USD 20,000 (22,600,000 KRW) and USD 6,000 (6,780,000 KRW) for the first, second and third runners up – paid in Korean Won

5. Top 40 startups get grants of US $10,840

The top 40 startups selected will each be eligible for total funding of US $10,840 for settlement in Korea based on performances on the ‘Demo Day’ and Settlement Evaluation.

6. Startup Gangnam-style

The Global Startup Campus is strategically located just 14 minutes from Gangnam – Seoul’s thriving, upscale business district, and is a fantastic plug-and-play location to work from.

7. You get mentorship from some of the world’s leading tech experts

The challenge will give you the chance to be mentored by some of the world’s top tech companies with experience in providing a global platform for startups and SMBs.

8. You have Korea’s top corporates as partners

From Samsung to Hyundai to LG, the challenge will give you access to Korea’s top firms with expertise ranging from smartphones and software to semiconductors.

9. Living expenses for the demo day and settlement program is also covered

Each of the final 20 selected startups in the program will receive the further US $10,840 to cover living expenses in equal installments over 3.5 months

10. There’s potential for additional investment

Startups will have access to VCs and investors who may choose to invest in them. The program’s accelerators may make also make equity investments in the most promising startups.

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.

How to Apply for K-Startup Grand Challenge in South Korea?

Apply now and submit your K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019 application at www.k-startupgc.org!

Application Deadline:

  • Apply now (April to June 14th 13:00 GMT +9)

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