K-Startup Grand Challenge 2021 (KSGC 2021) will be launched from August 16 to November 30, selecting 60 global startup teams wanting to expand their businesses to South Korea. Startups from around the world can apply till June 15.
KSGC 2021 is a global startup acceleration program organized and financed by the Korean government and the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). The Korean government is supporting talented entrepreneurs and promising startups, to turn Korea and Pangyo Creative Economy Valley into a global startup hub in Asia.
KSGC 2021 will offer 60 teams and entrepreneurs a 3.5-month residency program in South Korea that includes access to expert guidance, co-working spaces, state-of-art R&D labs, corporate partnerships, entry to Asian markets, and more. The acceleration program is hosted at the startup campus in Pangyo Techno Valley, a tech hub near Seoul. The top ten chosen startups will also win grants worth USD 320,000, with the first-place team receiving USD 120,000.
To apply, startups must be less than seven years old, and their representative must be of foreign nationality. They must also demonstrate a clear interest in expanding into the Korean and East Asian markets.
The program, first launched in 2016, aims to promote the expansion of an open entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and assist in South Korea’s evolution into a prominent startup and business hub in the region. In the year 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the program saw a 58% surge in applications, with 2,648 teams applying from 118 countries.
For further information and to apply for the K-Startup Grand Challenge, visit the website.
Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.
Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.
With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.