Here’s your chance to scale your startup to Korea


Applications are open to the second edition of the South Korean government-backed K-Startup Grand Challenge, with 50 startups from around the world to travel to join the four month accelerator.

Disrupt Africa reported last year the South Korean government launched the K-Startup Grand Challenge in a bid to attract foreign entrepreneurs to Korea and transform the country into an entrepreneurial hub.

This year 50 startups from around the world will be selected to join the programme, receiving US$12,000 to cover travel and living expenses in Korea.

During the four month programme – which is operated by five of Korea’s top accelerators –  startups will be given support in rapidly achieving product-market fit in Korea, with a goal of securing real business outcomes by the close of the programme.

Selected startups will benefit from government support, investment opportunities, business partnerships, and access to networks, with the likes of Samsung, Hyundai Motors, LG, Lotte, Kakao, and Naver, among others, confirmed as official partners of the programme.

The accelerator culminates in a Demo Day in December, at which 25 startups will receive up to US$100,000 each in grant money.

The challenge will be hosted at the US$160 million purpose-built Global Startup Campus in Pangyo.

The 40 startups who participated in last year’s inaugural programme jointly secured US$5.5 million in investments during the programme; with 70 per cent of participants going on to establish an entity in Korea.

To be eligible, startups must have been founded in the last five years, and have a minimum viable product (MVP).

Applications are open here, until June 7.


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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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