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The Korean Startup Grand Challenge Program

Updated on Jun 17, 2020 758 views
The Korean Startup Grand Challenge Program


The Korean government is working to transform the country's economy for another century of success, ultimately raising employment, the GDP and Korea's place in the world. In order to do this, the government is supporting 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 a 3 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 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.


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



May 15th – June 25th

We accept application from startups around the world during this time.

※Application Deadline: June 25th, 2020


June 29th – July 2th

The experts of foreign startup ecosystem and Korean accelerators will review all applications.


July 9th – 15th

Based on application review, the organizers of the K-Startup Grand Challenge will select 60 teams from around the world to interview by online via web conferences.
60 teams total will be selected by accelerating company.


September 1st – November 30th

(Support for living & Daily expenditure : 3,500,000 KRW/month/team of one person, 5,000,000 KRW/month/team of two people)

  1. The three months.
  2. Up to two members of each of the most promising startup teams will travel to Korea.
    The 60 teams will be able to use a project space, including equipment for product production and service development, test bed as well as an incubating infrastructure information sessions and coaching on Korean and Asian business culture, specific business topics (e.g. patents, accounting regulations, tax laws, etc.), pitching lessons and one-on-one monitoring will be provided.
  3. The teams will be able to interact with Korean companies including major companies such as Samsung, Hyundai motors, KT Corporation or SK Group through conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.
  4. Meanwhile, networking and matchmaking events will be organized throughout the program in order to promote international cooperation between startups, local successful entrepreneurs, distinguished researchers and engineers and large company representatives.


Accelerating Program

(3 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

(Startup Campus)

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 2020)

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
∙ $15,490 (₩17,500,000) per team of 2 people

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 months)

Provide Korean interns to assist your business in Korea for 3 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 2021)
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
∙ $15,490 (₩17,500,000) per team of 2 people

Grant for Top 5 Startups
1st Prize : $120,000 (₩135,600,000)
2nd Prize : $60,000 (₩67,800,000)
3rd Prize : $30,000 (₩33,900,000)
4th Prize : $20,000 (₩22,600,000)
5th Prize : $10,000 (₩11,300,000)

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.


Application Link

Find The Complete Details on the Korean Startup Website Via

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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