KIC-Europe is introduced in 2016 its new flagship program: KIC-Autobahn. This initiative is a disruptive and ground-breaking internationalisation programme providing financial and strategic support to Korean startups and scale-ups looking to develop their products and services to be commercialised in the European market. KIC-Autobahn gathers a pool of human, technology and financial resources oriented towards internationalisation, through the development and production of truly scalable businesses. We aim to boost the investment awareness and readiness of Korean innovative ventures, promoting them towards the European investment community and actively facilitate investment matching with startup investors. In an increasingly competitive and globalised economy, KIC-Autobahn also facilitates a unique platform that provides a single entry-point for innovative companies seeking to partner with large corporates, be it through procurement processes, open innovation, customer engagement, special interest groups, etc.

As a continent, Europe consists in multiple countries which speak a cornerstone language (English) and offer outstanding quality of life, surrounded by safe environments and robust political environments. A liberal labor market grounded on a well-educated society complement the region’s solid infrastructure. In conjunction with low bureaucracy and low tax environment, a friendly startup environment offers access to an extensive range of startup support programmes and, from a funding perspective, many types of different investors, who between them can satisfy the needs of companies across all stages of their growth. Europe is probably the most open and globally-connected continent in the world. Its geographic position and the Euro strength makes it a magnificent base from which to access the US, Middle East and North Africa. Europe outstands for its capabilities for research and innovation, streamlined through an ongoing support by its well-established industry clusters, such as financial services, bio-pharma and space – among many others.

The European tech industry has more scale and intricacies than you might think. In 2015 alone, more than $14 billion was invested across 2,400 startups in Europe. That’s a three-fold increase from the $5 billion invested in 2009. European technology startups raised approximately €12 billion last year, with ‘fintech’ and ‘e-commerce’ as the most popular verticals, unsurprisingly, alongside ‘health’ and ‘food’.

The combination of a more developed commercial and customer-oriented strategy in Europe, together with the research & development world-class capacities from Korean entrepreneurs will thrive Korean entrepreneurs to succeed by understanding what kinds of growth and restrictions they face when scaling their businesses. The development of these skills and mindset aim to transform creative ideas into entrepreneurial action and – most probably – the next generation of global success stories. In the last few years, vital startup ecosystems have been growing in almost every European country, aiming at offering an integrated pan-European platform to help promising startups emerge from these local ecosystems and scale-up. Korean business establishing in Europe will benefit from an array of services, funding opportunities and participation in projects to engage in a truly continental network.

  • Increase the number of investor-ready Korean tech entrepreneurs for expansion to Europe
  • Encourage bilateral KO-EU entrepreneurship collaboration across the digital economy
  • Develop a network of tech-creative physical and virtual entrepreneurship spaces across Europe
  • Provide a virtual-accelerator platform of tools and supports to empower teams to develop and scale-up real products and services
  • Provide fast-track access to new markets through networking, investment referrals and pitching opportunities in new countries
  • Incentivize and inspire the startup-corporate collaboration for the sake of entrepreneurship’s success
  • One week intensive startup training in Brussels (Investment Readiness Programme) including FREE flights and accommodation where companies will develop startup ideas with seasoned entrepreneurs, mentors and investors from across the EU
  • Access to an on-line virtual accelerator where your team will receive free technical and business development advice and supports as your validate your startup idea.
  • The opportunity to pitch to investors at Pioneers Festival in Vienna (24-25th May’16) and TNW Conference in Amsterdam (26-27th May’16). Flights and accommodation paid for selected teams.
  • Provide online mentoring and technical support to KIC-Europe’s portfolio companies to develop their businesses through a bespoke mentorship package
  • Identify and win business acceleration/ venture incubation programmes across the top-tier organisations in Europe
  • Select the best startups to compete in EU Startup Contests where they will pitch to leading venture capitalists, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs

By providing the full spectrum of support from ideation to prototype development to market validation, KIC-Autobahn provides:

  • A unique opportunity to unleash your entrepreneurial ambition within the European early stage funding ecosystem
  • An truly global entrepreneurship experience with networking and pitching opportunities and high tech venture possibilities
  • Physical & virtual access to training and resources with targeted, relevant experts
  • A powerful entrepreneurial toolkit of vital insights and supports to overcome challenges
  • Exposure, recognition and empowerment to the leading-edge trends of IoT & Big Data, Cybersecurity, Mobile, Fintech & E-/M-Commerce, E-Health and the Creative Industries.


KIC-Autobahn seeks out talented, promising tech entrepreneurs to participate in a unique international entrepreneurship experience to scale up their businesses in Europe. A series of hands-on, practical workshops in key areas of expertise targeting both new and seasoned entrepreneurs will be delivered, including business modelling, business pivoting, marketing, finance investment readiness and IP & legal matters. We are focused on creating and supporting Korean companies to make them investor-ready & global ventures.

KIC-Autobahn looks for companies with:

  • A solid team with experience in their industry
  • A set of skills and determination to execute a unique or new idea
  •  Market traction, which could be in Beta customers, partnerships, revenues or other metrics
  • The ability to listen and utilise our pool of mentors and industry experts
  • The capacity of understanding the meaning and value of a growing community



KIC-Autobahn is an ongoing programme with applications accepted in three rounds of selection a year. We accept mainly applications from those companies operating in the following sectors: IoT, Big Data, Cybersecurity, Fintech, eHealth, Mobile and Creative Industries. We will only accept applications received by accredited partners. KIC-Europe’s mentors will be assigned relevant applications based on their expertise and skills. Most of them are renowned investors and successful entrepreneurs, whilst others are experts in a vertical fields. This wide variety of skills boasts an excellent panel of evaluators.

January & July


Each application will be reviewed by at least three evaluators, based on three main criteria: team, product and innovation. After that, each team will be invited for a 15-min telepitching session in front of a jury, presenting the team, the idea, their vision and fit with our programme.

The pitch will be followed by a 15-min Q&A session with the team, to get a better understanding of the project and clarify any unclear points.

February & August


After a company is selected, one or more mentors will be assigned to collaborate on developing its strategic roadmap. This mentor-to-mentee relationship lasts up to 6 weeks.

Upon completion of the mentoring sessions, companies will be invited to Europe to receive a one-week Investment Readiness Programme (IRP).

Subsequently, companies will be showcasing their innovative solutions in a number of international events, including startup contests and demo days, where KIC-Autobahn’s companies will pitch and present their product and service.

Along with it, companies may receive exclusive invitations to join international accelerator programmes from KIC-Europe’s associated partners located in London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Stockholm and Vienna – just to name a few.

Find out more about the KIC-Autobahn softlanding package.

March & September


We make entrepreneurship accessible by providing ongoing support for graduated companies, allowing our alumni to actively network, create business opportunities and partnerships, and support each other through different challenges after they graduate.

Through our partnership, we can offer you unique access to our global community of members and their technical, financial, production, legal, commercial and marketing experience. We connect you to the answers and expertise you need.

May & November


>>   Support programme of 8 weeks for 20 teams

>>   Customised mentoring programme

>>   Networking, pitching and matchmaking sessions with investors

>>   Workshops, seminars, conferences and close contact with large European corporates

>>   Access to office space, business accelerators and innovation centers in Europe

>>   Investment Readiness Certificate

Mentoring Sessions

We have a pool of international mentors in our network from virtually every sector. During our mentoring sessions – yet to determine whether these are off or online – you will benefit from one-on-one meetings with a series of industry experts and early stage investors. This forges connections not just to the mentor, but their network too.

Founder stories: glory & failure

We invite in startup founders who have already been there and have done it. Insights regarding their experiences and lessons learnt to really understand what it’s like to start, build and grow a startup.

In-house support

KIC-Europe’s team will analyse the development of each team on a fortnightly basis. You’ll have the chance to share any challenges you are having. We’ll help you solidify and – if required – pivot your vision and strategy, and set specific measurable milestones for you to achieve before the next meeting.

We have collectively supported over 100 startups to date; whatever challenge you are facing, we will either know how to help or we will link you to someone who can actually do it.

Workshops & Masterclasses

Over the course of the programme a series of lecture-style sessions will be run on a range of startup topics. Example sessions are; lean methodology, growth hacking, metrics, legal & tax, pitch rehearsal, marketing and finance.


We already received funding. Can we participate?

Yes. Probably your investor(s) would like you to join an international programme because they know this way you will get the best support to grow your business. Seed investors often spend time to coach companies in their portfolio, but through our KIC-Autobahn programme our mentors, partners and network can provide you with intensive, all-round support to grow your business and raise follow on funding.

We are not early-stage company. Can we apply?

The programme is open to all companies that are in a startup phase, during their first 3 years. KIC-Autobahn can provide you with a rich and lively entrepreneurial ecosystem, challenging the adequate model for an optimum growth.

I don't have a team. If I am by myself, can I apply?

Yes. However, we recommend to have at least a team of two people to be able to join the programme. It is difficult enough to build and grow a business, so you should at least have a partner to be able to make it a success. KIC-Europe might be able to help you find the right partner.

How much funding do we get?

KIC-Autobahn doesn’t provide with funding to the selected companies. We enable startups’ access to a pool of tools:

■ Technology & data

■ Partners

■ Funding & investors

■ International business development

■ Regional know-how

■ Accelerated growth

■ Participation in international events

Are there geographical restrictions when applying for the programme?

No. We welcome all startups from across the globe, as long as they target expansion and scalability from Korea to EU and vice-versa. Since most of the sessions and learning will be sourced by Gust®.

Gust is an internet-based interactive connection platform that provides all the tools entrepreneurs need to scale their business. Through KIC-Autobahn via Gust, you can:

Create a startup profile: your startup profile serves as a universal funding application accepted by all investors on our SaaS funding platform.

Control who sees what: choose which information to share publicly and which to share privately with accredited investors.

Share documents securely: upload and selectively share your business documents with potential accredited investors.

Track investor activity: easily track the status of your applications and manage investor relationships.

Full information about the KIC-Autobahn mechanism can be found at this link.

How can I get funding after the conclusion of the programme?

During the KIC-Autobahn we will be connecting you primarily to early-stage investors, in order to by build relationships with active players. A number of Demodays will also be hosted (check our 2016 roadmap), enhancing your visibility and recognition to domestic and international investors.

Here, our teams will have the chance to pitch to international seed funds, angels and VCs.

Do we give away equity from my company?

No. KIC-Europe does not take any equity from the participating companies. However, when negotiating with all the decisions made for your company from start to end will be yours and only yours. We’ll help guide you through the pitfalls and hurdles of the entrepreneur life, providing expert advice from seasoned entrepreneurs.

How will you protect my business idea & intellectual property?

We are here to be part of your success. When your business proposal gets sent through our application process, we merely use it for the purpose of evaluating your startup. NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) will be formalised upon agreement to participate in our KIC-Autobahn.

How do we apply? How is the selection process structured?

1. Online application: please visit KIC-Europe’s organisation profile in Gust. We also welcome referrals from partners and other associated investors.

2. Shortlisting: applications are reviewed by the core team accelerator and mentors to select the best of the breed.

3. Experts review: applicants are narrowed down to 25 candidates as per evaluations from KIC-Europe’s steering committee.

4. The best 10 startups will be accepted in the KIC-Autobahn project. They will also pitch during our Demodays and other European startup events.

What's the deadline for submitting my application?

Applications for the 2016 programme open in February 2016. Stay tuned as we will announce the application deadlines shortly, or subscribe to our newsletter.

How will you protect my business idea & intellectual property?

We are here to be part of your success. When your business proposal gets sent through our application process, we merely use it for the purpose of evaluating your startup. NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) will be formalised upon agreement to participate in our KIC-Autobahn.

Unresolved questions?

If you have other questions, please send an email to We will get back to you shortly.


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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