The K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC) is a startup accelerator program supported by the South Korean government. Returning for its 8th year, the program aims at bringing international startups, with a focus on SEA and ANZ startups. Applications open on 10 April and close on 18 May 2023 for startups keen on the opportunity to work and build a strong foundation in South Korea.
KSGC was launched by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) in 2016 and has been integral in connecting promising startups from around the world to South Korea. The Korean government has committed to establishing the country as a startup powerhouse over the years. A report shows that early-stage startup funding between 2019 to 2021 in South Korea was at US $2.3 billion compared to US $687 for the global average, and successful startups in South Korea took around 8 years to exit in comparison to 9.4 years for the global average in 2023.
The KSGC program has proven to be an international accelerator in high demand, with 2,653 global startups applied from 122 countries for KSGC 2022. To date, the program has resulted in 167 startups setting up bases in Korea.
“The K-Startup Grand Challenge offers startups in Singapore and Malaysia a unique opportunity to access the market in Korea, funding, mentorship, and network building. We look forward to supporting SEA Start-Ups and Scale-Ups looking to accelerate their growth regionally and build a business for the long-term.” Said Nim Sivakumaran, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Arcc Spaces.
Meetup sessions are planned for Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the next few weeks to answer any questions startups that are interested in the program have.
“Peatix is delighted to come on board as a marketing partner for the upcoming KSGC 2023. Being an event discovery platform of more than 10 years, we look forward to promoting the valuable initiatives organized by accelerator programs like KSGC to our growing network of startup communities.” Said Peatix Marketing Lead, Michelle Leong.
KSGC 2023 will offer 60 startups from around the world that are less than 7 years old a 3.5-month residency program from July to November. Applications open on 10 April and close on 18 May 2023. Each startup’s representative must be of foreign nationality, and express a clear interest in expanding into the Korean and East Asian markets. There is a cash prize for the top 5 startups, with US $120,000 for the winner.
The program will be conducted in Pangyo Techno Valley. Participants will have their living expenses covered, and be provided with free office and project spaces to work from. Startups will have access to mentors, consultants, and business development teams to help fulfil their potential and aid in their localisation efforts.
With more than 10 startup unicorns based in South Korea, focusing on startup diversity by bringing innovation and ideas from SEA could be the key to the future of the tech scene in Korea. Mr Shin Sung Woo, director of KICC Singapore says, “The tech landscape changes rapidly, and we are proud to see the volume of strong and diverse startups who have participated in the program over the years. For 2023, we are excited to work closely with our startups and help them reach the next level for KSGC 2023.
To signup for KSGC 2023, please visit: https://www.k-startupgc.org