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.
The country sets apart a larger percentage of its GDP (4.36%) 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%) with China. As a result, South Korea is a leading manufacturer in cutting edge electronics but is also one of the biggest consumers of these digital products. It is the world's most connected country with 95% of the country covered by Wi-Fi, has the fastest average internet connection in the world, and has 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.
Promising startups with a clear objective to expand into Asia by using the Korean market as a stepping-stone may register and apply here. Hurry! Applications close 14th June.
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 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.
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 program will receive a further USD 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 program’s accelerators may make also make equity investments in the most promising startups.
Know more about K-Startup Grand Challenge 2018 by registering and applying for the challenge here.
Hurry! Applications close 14th June.