The K-Startup Grand Challenge is a project organized and financed by the Korean government. Their goal is to promote the expansion of an open entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and to assist in South Korea's innovation into a prominent startup business hub in the region.
The 40 chosen startups of the challenge will get invited for 3,5 months to an all-expenses-paid accelerating program where they get mentoring, education and connected to potential investors and VC’s. In the end, all of them have the chance to win funding up to $100.000 for the first prize.
Ahead of Japan, China, and Singapore, Korea ranks 24th on the Global Entrepreneurship Index and even topped Bloomberg’s Innovation Index for the second year in a row. Around 30.000 startups are employing around 100.000 people, mostly in Seoul.
Here are some reasons why Korea and especially Seoul is poised to become the hub of concentrated tech startup activity in Asia much like Silicon Valley in the US.
Most of the current development is driven by public initiatives. The economy, in general, is fuelled by exports and dominated by big corporations. As a logical result of this, the Korean government wants to diversify the economy by giving away over USD 2 billion a year since 2013 on strengthening the innovation ecosystem. Worldwide Korea is only surpassed by Israel when it comes to spendings on Research & Development. Currently, no country in the world has more backing per capita from the government than Korea.
Samsung Electronics, one of the biggest Korean companies, announced just a couple days back it would be releasing its Galaxy S10 5G smartphone in Korea, making it the first mobile broadband country in the world. Almost 80% of the inhabitants have smartphones, and the internet speed averages 50mb/s for the entire country compared to the US (10mb/s) and Germany (11 mb/s).
Korea is a much easier prospect for expansion into Asia than China or Japan. Korea's advanced, socio-economic position makes it much more familiar to many Western companies. Japan tends to take a different path when it comes to technology with its highly conservative thinking people. Also, China can’t keep pace with its complex web of personal networks and government regulations. Free trade agreements with 52 countries (covering 74% of global GDP) open possibilities that may not be findable in much of Southeast Asia.
Korea is welcoming Startups from all around the world of almost every industry or sector who are interested in expanding their business in Asia or Korea. Some of the target sectors are:
The most important date is June 14th, which stands for the application deadline. Better be fast!
Here you can create your profile, after that, you can apply (REMINDER: application deadline 14th of June) for The K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019 by filling the application form for taking your business to the next (global) level!
We wish you good luck or 행운을 빕니다!
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