K-Startup Grand Challenge 2021 (KSGC 2021) is a global startup acceleration program organized and financed by the Korean government, South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). The program accepts new European startups that wish to expand on the Asian market for the 2021 cohort.
Startups from around the world are now able to apply to K-Startup Grand Challenge 2021, South Korea’s government-backed global acceleration program. The program started accepting applications from April 15, 2021. The program represents an unparalleled opportunity for startups to expand into the South Korean and wider Asian markets.
KSGC 2021 will offer 60 teams and entrepreneurs an all-expenses-paid, 3.5-month residency program in South Korea that includes access to expert guidance, co-working spaces, state-of-art R&D labs, corporate partnerships, entry to Asian markets, and more.
The acceleration program is hosted at the startup campus in Pangyo Techno Valley, a tech hub near Seoul. The top ten chosen startups will also win grants worth $320,000, with the first-placed team receiving $120,000.
To apply, startups must be less than seven years old, and their representative must be of foreign nationality. They must also demonstrate a clear interest in expanding into the Korean and East Asian markets.
The program first launched in 2016, aims to promote the expansion of an open entrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia and assist in South Korea’s evolution into a prominent startup and business hub in the region. In the year 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the program saw a 58% surge in applications, with 2,648 teams applying from 118 countries.