2018 PR Video

Daniel Lindemann Interview

2016 Final Winner Interview


The Korea Startup Grand Challenge is a project conducted and financed by NIPA (National IT Industry Promotion Agency) of South Korea. The ultimate objective of the program is to promote the expansion of an open entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and to assist in South Korea’s evolution into a prominent startup business hub in the region.

The driving idea behind this project is to endorse the inflow of promising foreign startups interested in the Korean or the broader Asian market through a global startup acceleration programme followed by a Domestic Settlement Programme. This project gives startups the opportunity:


  • To expand into the Asian market through Korea, thereby using this country as a foothold for their international cooperation in Asia
  • To be exposed to large Korean corporations such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG or SK, etc.
  • To receive mentoring and financial support in order to grow their business in Asia
Promising global startups with a clear objective to expand into Asia, using the Korean market as a stepping-stone.

※Below points should be prioritized, but do not need to be categorized.

Pangyo Techno Valley is an innovation park in the southern part of Seoul (Gyeonggi Province) that focuses on information, biotech, cultural and fusion technology. It is Korea’s best ICT-based R&D innovation cluster with a total of 5.27 trillion won (around 4.2 billion USD) invested into it by the South Korean government. It was completed in 2015 and covers an area of about 454,964 square miles with support facilities such as the Global R&D Centre, Public Support Centre, and the Industry-Academy R&D Centre.



40 winning team will be given a special financial package, which consists in:

  • A common grant for all 40 teams (about $22K)
  • Additional grants for the top 4 teams (from $6K to $100K)
  • Potential equity investment from Korean accelerators



* These dates are subject to change
Reception of Applications
  • The K-Startup project is open to anyone so long as the candidates meet the requirements.
  • Check out also our Facebook  pages for more updates on the K-Startup Challenge 2018

Application deadline: 14 June

May – June

Application Review
  • All applications will be collected and screened



Global Auditions
  • The top 80 startups will be selected from global auditions and invited to Korea
  • 10 startups out of the 80 teams will be composed of Korean track;
    • Overseas Korean, including both Korean nationals living abroad and Korean with foreign citizenship
    • Returning Korean Students who have earned an Associate’s degree or higher from a foreign university

Location in the European Region

>>London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin<<

June – July

Acceleration Program
  • 80 startups will be selected to join a 3.5months 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 such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai Motors, KT, Kakao, and Naver. Selected teams will be able to interact with these companies through conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.
  • Support for living & daily expenditure : $3,180/month/team
  • Up to two members per team
    • The expenditure will be covered in Korean Won

>> Location: Pangyo Valley, Seoul (South Korea) <<

August – November

  • Final Demoday at the end of the acceleration program
  • Korean and foreign investors will be invited
  • The 40 remaining teams will be participating in this event

>> Location: Seoul (South Korea) <<



  • Are you an early-stage startup or a scale-up?
  • Are you looking to expand into Asia?
  • Do you have a disruptive innovation in the IoT, software, smart devices, cloud, 5G or big data sectors?

The K-Startup Grand Challenge Brochure

K-Startup Brochure


The Ministry of SMEs and Startups(MSS) is a government organization whose objective is to strengthen competitiveness and support innovation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro Enterprises (MEs). MSS’s mission is to develop and implement government policies over the following three areas; promoting of business growth, fostering business startups, and supporting micro enterprises.

>> Click here for more information

The National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) is an organization operated by the South Korean government that supports the country’s competitiveness of the IT industry through policy research and development support, and supporting international exchange, cooperation, and overseas expansion related to the IT industry.

>> Click here for more information



If you are interested in working together, send me an inquiry and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

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