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How to grow your startup with the No. 1 country on the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index: South Korea

Ryan Frantz
30th May 2019
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With groundbreaking advancements happening across the world, and innovations being driven by Blockchain, AI, IoT, ML, and more, there is an unparalleled opportunity for new game-changers. One country leading the charge is the innovation powerhouse - South Korea, which has landed the number one spot on the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index for the second year in a row.


South Korea sets apart a larger percentage of its GDP (4.36 percent) for research and development than any other country in that world, and its gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) ties for first place (9.4 percent) with China. As a result, it is a leading manufacturer of cutting-edge electronics, and is also one of the biggest consumers of these digital products. It is the world's most connected country with 95 percent covered by Wi-Fi. It also has the fastest average internet connection in the world and the highest number of broadband services per capita. South Korea's highly advanced technology infrastructure allows for quick consumer consumption of new services. In other words, everyone is an early adopter.


Startups looking to be a part of this innovation landscape and expand their startup across Asia via Korea should set their sights on applying for the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019.


Startup, Gangnam-style with the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019


The K-Startup Grand Challenge is an annual project conducted and financed by the Korean government and offers startups a fantastic global platform for their ideas and a break into the robust Asian market. South Korea, conveniently located in East Asia, between China and Japan, with Hong Kong and Taiwan to the south is a great location for startups looking to expand across Asia.


Who can apply


Promising startups with a clear objective to expand into Asia by using the South Korean market as a stepping-stone may register and apply here. Hurry! Applications close June 14, 2019.



Why apply for the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019?


1. 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 environment where SMEs and startups can mutually exchange information with high-tech technology research institutes and large, global companies.


2. A grant of $ 100,000 for the winner


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


3. $10,840 grants for the top 40 startups


The top 40 startups selected will each be eligible for a total funding of $10,840 to cover the cost of living over 3.5 months.


4. Working out of a brand new, centrally located startup campus


The Global Startup Campus is strategically built just 14 minutes from Gangnam – Seoul’s thriving, upscale business district.


5. Expert mentorship


You stand to get special mentorship from some of the world’s top tech companies with experience in taking companies global.


6. Corporate partnerships


The challenge will give you access to Korea’s top tech companies with expertise ranging from smartphones and software to semiconductors.


7. Living expenses for the demo day and settlement programme


Each of the final 20 selected startups in the programme will receive a further $10,840 to cover living expenses in equal instalments over 3.5 months


8. Potential for additional investment


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


Apply now!


Know more about K-Startup Grand Challenge 2018 by registering and applying for the challenge here. Hurry! Applications close June 14, 2019.

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