K-Startup Grand Challenge 2023: South Korea’s largest accelerator program now accepting applications

Applications for the 2023 edition of South Korea’s largest accelerator program, the K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC), are now open.

Overseen by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and organized by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency, the program is aimed at foreign startups looking to enter the Korean market and explore business opportunities in Asia.

The program, which runs from July 25 to November 10, 2023, will focus on deep tech startups operating in e-Commerce & Retail, ESG & Green Tech, Food Tech & Agri Tech, Healthcare & Bio, IT & Software, Mobility & Robotics, Manufacturing & IoT, Metaverse & Media.

Applications will be accepted from April 10 to May 18, 2023, and startups less than seven years old, whose representatives hold foreign nationalities and wish to establish an innovative technology business in Korea will be given preference.

Startups with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or specific plans to relocate their headquarters or establish a company in Korea will also be favored.

The program offers several benefits to participating startups, including commercialization and settlement support, mentorship from Korean startup experts, participation in meetups and events, and opportunities to meet Korean companies and investors.

Startups will also receive office space in Pangyo Techno Valley, financial benefits, and the chance to win prizes worth approximately $270,000 at the final Demo Day in November 2023.

Successful alumni of the KSGC program include Bear Robotics, a Silicon Valley startup founded by ex-Googlers that participated in 2017 and has since revolutionized self-driving serving robots tailored for Korean cuisine. The startup has attracted over $100 million in investments since 2017, with an $81 million Series B round in 2022.

In 2022, German food tech startup Koralo won the coveted ‘2022 K-Startup Grand Challenge’ as the best foreign startup team at the Demo Day. – AsiaTechDesk.com