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"K-Startup Must go on" The Ministry of SMEs and Startups supports K-Startups to go global

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups
◆ A launching ceremony was held to commemorate the 2020 launch of K-Startup Centers in Sweden, Finland and Singapore, with both on and offline participation by Ministers of the respective countries, Ambassadors to Korea and local K-Startup center directors and ACs.

◆ The MSS will provide active supporting to promising startups that are beyond the seed-stage, including matching each startup with a local partner company, developing a sophisticated business model, and a global market entry fund of up to KRW 80M, thereby, helping them settle into the local startup ecosystems.
At the K-Startup Center Launching Ceremony held on July 8th, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (Minister Park Young-Sun, hereinafter referred to as MSS) announced that it will begin providing K-Startups with full-fledged support for global scale-up with an opening ceremony of K-Startup centers in Singapore, Sweden and Finland in 2020.
The KSC Launching Ceremony was held under the slogan that global market entry by K-startups must go on in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, with on and offline participation from each country.
  < Ceremony Itinerary >  
◼ Date/ Venue : July 8, ’20 (Wed), 15:00~16:00 / Gangnam Justco Tower
◼ Participants: (On-site) KSC companies, Ambassadors in Korea, representatives of related institutions in respective countries (approximately 50 participants) (Online) Ministers of Sweden and Singapore, directors of local K-Startup centers and AC, KSC companies (approximately 60 participants)
◼ Main content: Announcement of the management direction of the K-Startup Centers, on and offline launching ceremony, congratulatory speech by ministers of each country, networking between representatives from embassies in Korea, related institutions and startups
The K-Startup Center is a global startup platform that provides startup companies with a package including local networking, funding and office space, in order to help them settle into the local startup ecosystems, and to connect startup ecosystems of various countries.
Following the KSCs launched in 2019 in New Delhi, Seattle and Tel Aviv, the MSS is launching the next wave of KSCs this year in Stockholm, Sweden, Helsinki, Finland and Singapore, as part of the achievements of the President's India-Singapore visit (2018) and European visit (2019).
Ambassador Eero Suominen of the Embassy of Finland in Korea, Ambassador Eric Teo of the Embassy of Singapore in Korea and Ambassador Chaim Choshen of the Embassy of Israel in Korea and Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan of the Embassy of India in Korea, and representatives from related institutions such as Business Sweden and Enterprise Singapore, joined today's launching ceremony in person to express their support and encouragement for the KSC-designated companies of 2020 as they prepare global market entry.
Also, Minister Ibrahim Baylan of Sweden's Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, and Minister Chan Chun Sing of Singapore's Ministry for Trade and Industry joined online to deliver their congratulations on the launching of the KSCs, and expressed their commitment to providing K-startups with active support in their local market entries.
The number of on-site participants at the event was limited to 50 people, in consideration of 'social distancing phase 1' due to COVID-19 pandemic, and the 'eform' developed by 'Ion Communications', a KSC-designated company in 2020, was used as the screening questionnaire for on-site participants.
Competition rate recorded 3.3:1, as 279 companies applied for a selection of 92 companies to join the 6 K-Startup Centers in 2020. This is clear indication of the strong demand for global scale-up among K-startups, even amidst the pandemic.
It should also be noted that an analysis on companies that have already been selected in 4 countries* indicated that 85% of the applicant companies were beyond the seed-stage, having previously received investment, and that applicants flocked to some specific industries.
* Assessment is ongoing in the US and India, due to an extension of the selection period (~Jun. 26), and selection will be completed by the end of July.
** Sweden (AI, games), Finland (digital health), Singapore (cyber security, fin-tech), Israel (education/ agriculture, social-tech), Seattle, US (retail, block-chain), New Delhi, India (electric cars, IT services)
Following the launching ceremony, the KSC-designated companies will be matched with investors, partner companies and/or major corporations to measure the level of 'localization' of their startup items, and begin the accelerating program to refine their market entry strategies.
Further follow-up support will also be provided in the forms of global market entry funding of up to KRW 80M, global entry startup voucher business, local shared office space and networking etc.
According to the Minister Park, "the KSC provides full support to promising Korean startups to enable them to smoothly settle into the local ecosystems and work towards global scale-up, and serves as a stage for the exchange and cooperation among startup networks of diverse countries."
Park hopes that "K-innovation ventures, as leaders of the digital economy in the Post Covid-19 world, will rise as global companies capable of changing the life paradigm of the global community, where people are increasingly moving towards an online and remote world", adding that exchange and cooperation of startups between countries should be further expanded in the post COVID-19 world considering the recent growth in startups based on contactless service.