K-Startup Grand Challenge 2023 From South Korea: The Most Remarkable Global Accelerator Program Invites Applications From Tech Startups

15-Week Residency Program Open for Technology Startups Seeking to Expand to Asia

KSGC 2023

The K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC), South Korea's largest accelerator program, has opened applications for its 2023 edition. Overseen by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and organized by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency, KSGC is accepting startup applications from April 10 to May 18, 2023. The program aims to assist foreign startups looking to enter the Korean market and explore business opportunities in Asia. The 2023 edition of the accelerator, running from July 25 to November 10, will focus on deep tech startups.

Lim Jungwook, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, said, "It is a great pleasure to experience the gradual increase in the level and quality of startups applying to the K-Startup Grand Challenge program every year. This year, through the Follow-up program after Demoday, KSGC 2023 offers further support to the Top 20 teams, including commercialization funds such as a PoC (Proof of Concept) project with Korean companies for approximately eight teams with a maximum funding of $25,000, which will help startups take their innovative ideas to the next level. I encourage global startups to join K-Startup Grand Challenge 2023 and be a part of this innovative journey." 

The program will select 60 startups that are less than seven years old, whose representatives hold foreign nationalities and wish to establish an innovative technology business in Korea. Startups with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or specific plans to relocate their headquarters or establish a company in Korea will be given preference.

The K-Startup Grand Challenge program evaluates startups and pre-startups through a two-step process (document evaluation and global audition evaluation) including criteria such as problem recognition, feasibility and differentiation, expansion plan, and team. The application period is from April 10 to May 18, 2023, and the program excludes startups that copy or steal others' ideas or violate contracts.

The 2023 edition is designed for startups operating in deep tech, focused on eight sectors: e-Commerce & Retail, ESG & Green Tech, Food Tech & Agri Tech, Healthcare & Bio, IT & Software, Mobility & Robotics, Manufacturing & IoT, Metaverse & Media.

What can startups expect at KSGC 2023?

International startups participating in KSGC 2023 can expect several benefits. They will receive commercialization support, settlement support, opportunities to meet Korean companies and investors, office space in Pangyo Techno Valley, financial benefits, and additional follow-up support, including a 15-week paid extension in Korea from Dec. 1, 2023, to March 29, 2024. 

In 2022, KSGC attracted 2,653 teams from 122 countries worldwide, recording the highest-ever competition rate of 52:1. Fifty-one startup teams were selected through screening and auditions for the final 15-week program. German food tech startup Koralo won the coveted '2022 K-Startup Grand Challenge' as the best foreign startup team at the Demo Day. 

In the past, global startups participating in the KSGC program have had definite success in the Asian market. Since 2016, 360 teams from 168 countries have participated in KSGC, and 167 Korean subsidiaries have been established. Bear Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup founded by ex-googlers, participated in KSGC 2017 and is now revolutionizing self-driving serving robots tailored for Korean cuisine internationally. The startup has attracted over $100 million in investments since 2017, with an $81 million Series B round in 2022. 

For further information and the application for K-Startup Grand Challenge, visit the website - https://www.k-startupgc.org

Source: KSGC