Category Archives: South Korea

Korea government launches initiative to attract start-ups

Startup challengeKorea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has launched its K-Startup Grand Challenge, an all-expenses-paid acceleration program for 40 start-ups from around the world.

The Korean government has seemingly been making aggressive moves in recent months to bolster its technology capabilities, and the launch of the K-Startup Grand Challenge would appear to support new policies to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing, as well as plans to invest roughly 100 billion won (approximately $87.2 million) to build its presence in the AI segment.

“Korea offers the best technology infrastructure in the world, combined with a population of tech-savvy early adopters who are hot on startups. That, along with our central location makes us the ideal country to establish a foothold in Asia,” said Choi Yanghee, Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning. “We’re already home to the world’s top names in consumer technology, semiconductors and gaming, and we’re eager to host the next generation of high-tech companies.”

Companies selected for the initiative will receive $4,100 per month to cover living expenses, along with free round-trip flights to Korea for three team members. The government will also provide the teams with offices and lab space in its $160 million Start-up Campus in Pangyo. The program is supported by SparkLabs, DEV Korea, Shift and ActnerLab.

The performance of the companies involved in the initiative will be judged at the end of the three month period. The top 20 start-ups will receive approximately $33,000 in no-strings funding and the top four startups will receive between $6,000 and $100,000 on top of that.