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!
Want more? Check out other upcoming events in betahaus here.
This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.
Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.
One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.
This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.
We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.
Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.