K-Startup Grand Challenge Program

K-Startup Grand Challenge Program

The Korean government just announced K-Startup Grand Challenge Program to support talented entrepreneurs and promising startups, to turn Korea and Pangyo Creative Economy Valley into a global startup hub in Asia.
The top-ranked 60 teams selected by the accelerators will be invited to stay in Korea to participate in a 3.5-month accelerating program in Pangyo, located in the south of Seoul.
At the end of the acceleration program, the government will host a demo day to select the top 30 startups. These startups will get additional financial incentives, and if they choose to establish their businesses in Korea, they will get additional support from the government.

Who can apply?

  • Technology-based startups that have a prototype or product/service and at the initial investment stage.
  • Global startups.
  • Startups that have been established within the past 7 years are eligible to apply.

What is the Program Period?

  • K-Startup Grand Challenge Program Period: August 16 – November 30. 2021.

Benefits of the Program

Accelerating Program (3.5 months): 60 teams will be selected to join a 3 months-Accelerating program during which they will receive:

  • a free office space
  • 1-on-1 mentors
  • information sessions on Korean and Asian business culture, as well as specific business topics (e.g. patents, accounting, regulations, tax laws, etc.)
  • access to regular networking sessions
  • exposure to Korean major companies

Free Office and Project Space

  • Selected teams will be provided with project space including equipment for product / service production and development, testbeds, as well as an incubating infrastructure at the Startup Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley.

Living Expenses

(Aug – Nov 2021)

  • Each of the 60 startups in the program will receive money to cover the living expenses over 3.5 months.
  • $10,840 (₩12,250,000) per team of 1 person

During the quarantine period, participants should pay the cost of isolation housing which Korea Government provides from living expenses (Living expenses include the quarantine fund for 2 weeks before the program starts.)

Korean Interns Support (3.5 months)

  • Provide Korean interns to assist your business in Korea for 3.5 months. (1 intern per 2 teams)
  • There will be a speed dating session, so you could choose your own Korean intern to work with. The intern would definitely help you to tear down the language and cultural barrier, the two most difficult things you could face while pursuing business in a foreign country.

Help Desk & Visas

  • As the South Korean government supports the improvement in Visa regulations for foreign startups and entrepreneurs through the new OASIS program, Visa-related issues will be taken care of by the Korean government. Also, various services are available for overseas startups such as administrative support, housing and so on.

Final Package

Grant for Top 30 Startups (Jan – Apr 2022)

Each of the selected top 30 startups will be eligible to receive funding for 3.5 months.

∙ $10,840 (₩12,250,000) per team of 1 person

Grant for Top 10 Startups

  • 1st Prize : $120,000 (₩132,000,000)
  • 2nd Prize : $70,000 (₩77,000,000)
  • 3rd Prize : $40,000 (₩44,000,000)
  • 4th Prize : $25,000 (₩27,500,000)
  • 5th Prize : $15,000 (₩16,500,000)
  • 6-10th Prize : $10,000 each (₩55,000,000)

Additional Investments

The accelerators may make equity investments in the most promising startups. Startups may have access to other VCs and investors who may choose to invest.

The deadline to apply for this program is June 15.

Official Announcement

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