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Startup-Friendly Korea : 60 teams from 24 countries visit Korea for startup opportunities!

- 60 teams selected for K-Startup Grand Challenge -

□ A total of 2,648 teams (118 countries) applied for K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020. Against the odds of 44 to 1, 60 teams (24 countries) have been selected for the program.

□ Upon arriving at Korea, the selected teams will take part in business engagements with large corporations and acceleration activities for three and a half months before the final Demo Day scheduled in November.
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS, Minister Young-sun Park) announced the completion of the document screening and untact global auditions for the 2,648 teams(118 countries) that applied for K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020 and the selection of the 60 teams(24 countries) to be invited to Korea for the event. The odds of 44 to 1 is all time high since the program started.
K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020’s application process, which lasted from May 15 to June 26, received applications from 2,648 teams from 118 countries, the largest number of applications since the program’s launch in 2016 and a 58% increase from that of the 2019 program(1,677 teams). In the document screening, 360 teams were selected. Afterward, the final 60 teams were selected through the untact global auditions held at 5 overseas locations, including Europe and the United States(US), until July 17.
Out of the 60 teams, 24 teams* are based in Europe (40%), 23 teams are based in Asia(38%), and 11 teams are from the US (18%). In the previous year, MSS did not receive any applications from Africa and Oceania. However, this year, owing to the great increase in the number of applications**, a team from each region was selected for the program.
* Selected Teams by Region: Europe (24 teams, 40%), Asia (23 teams, 38%), US (11 teams, 18%), Africa (1 team, 2%), Oceania (1 team, 2%)
** Application Growth by Region (%, 2019 → 2020): Oceania: 344% (18 → 80); Africa: 233% (90 → 300); Europe: 193% (182 → 533); US: 90% (186 → 353); Asia: 20% (1,154 → 1,382)
In terms of the application areas, 19 teams applied for the artificial intelligence(AI) area(32%), 11 teams applied for the health-care area(18%), and 4 teams in the e-commerce area(7%). The majority of the accepted teams applied for untact areas, which have been gaining attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of age, 32 teams consisted of members in their 30s, 16 teams consisted of members in their 20s, and 80% of the selected teams have members in their 20s or 30s.
* Selected Teams by Area : AI(19 teams, 32%), health care(11 teams, 18%), e-commerce(4 teams, 7%), media(4 teams, 7%), fintech(3 teams, 5%), Internet of things(IoT, 3 teams, 5%), smart city(2 teams, 3%), virtual reality(VR, 2 teams, 3%), 3D printing(2 teams, 3%), autotech(2 teams, 3%), cloud(2 teams, 3%), environment-friendly energy(2 teams, 3%), information security(1 team, 2%), robotics(1 team, 2%), semiconductor(1 team, 2%), big data(1 team, 2%)
** Selected Teams by Members’ Age : 20s(16 teams, 27%), 30s(32 teams, 53%), 50s and older(12 teams, 20%)
In addition, MSS will provide the teams with settlement grants, business engagements with Korean businesses, and mentoring opportunities for three and a half months starting in September to help them adapt to life in Korea. The ministry will also arrange a meeting between the selected teams and the participants of the previous K-Startup Grand Challenge programs so that this year’s participants can learn how previous participants adapted to living in Korea and conducted their businesses. A Demo Day will be held in November, which will coincide with the ComeUp event scheduled in the same month. The top 30 teams will receive additional settlement grants, and the top 5 will be awarded cash prizes.
* Prizes: (1st) USD 120,000, (2nd) USD 60,000, (3rd) USD 30,000, (4th) USD 20,000, (5th) USD 10,000
** Settlement Grants : (Awarded to) Top 30teams; (Amount) Teams with a single member: KRW 3.5 million monthly for 4 months, Teams with two or more members: KRW 5 million monthly
As a part of the efforts to fight COVID-19, the 60 teams will be required to stay at a quarantine facility for visitors for 2 weeks. After the quarantine, MSS will require the teams to receive personal hygiene training in accordance with the COVID-19 manual and form a cooperative network with the related agencies (public health centers and local governments) to prevent COVID-19 infection during the incubation period.

참고   K-Startup Grand Challenge Business Outline
□ Business Outline
(Purpose) Find foreign startups that have promising products or services for business and attract those startups in order to make Korea the best global startup business hub
(Scale) (’19) 4.4 billion won, 40 teams → (’20) 6 billion won, 60 teams
(Target) Foreigners having bachelor degree or above, overseas Korean, prep entrepreneur among international students in Korea, or CEO of startup 7 years or less
(Contents) Prize(Up to 136 million won), settlement fund(3.5~5 million won monthly/team), incubation infrastructure (venture space, help-desk, etc.), and follow-up support (obtaining a Visa, establishing a corporation, etc.)
Contents Details
Accelerating ▪ Providing selected 60 teams the benefit of moving into
Startup Campus in Pangyo
▪ Providing Accelerating (consulting, business affiliation, training, etc.) and
administrative support for about 3.5 months
Assist with getting a Visa ▪ Support startups by operating OASIS program(Completion Start-up Visa education program) with Ministry of Justice, introducing startup immigration system, and more
Settlement Fund ▪ 3.5-month Accelerating for 60 teams
(3.5 million won for one-member teams/month)
(5 million won for two-member teams/month)
▪ For 3.5 months, selected 30 teams on Demo-Day
(3.5 million won for one-member teams/month)
(5 million won for two-member teams/month)
Winning Teams ▪ Give Top 5 teams up to 120,000 dollars
* (1st) $120,000, (2nd) $60,000, (3rd) $30,000, (4th) $20,000, (5th) $10,000

Application Evaluation Accelerating
(Startup campus in Pangyo)
Demo-Day Accelerating
(Startup campus in Pangyo)
Reception of
(1st) Documentation
(2nd) Untact Audition
selected teams
(60 teams, Sep.~Nov.)
Final Selection
(30 teams,
ComeUp in Nov.)
selected teams
(30 teams,
□ Business Result
◦ We have accelerated 200 teams since the program launched in 2016. Among 100 teams which received follow-up support, 89 teams established domestic corporations and got support of getting Start-up Immigration Visa.
< K-Startup Grand Challenge Business Result >
(Unit : team, case, a hundred million/ In April, 2020)
Year Budget Present condition
of application
Present condition
of selection
Immigration Visa
2016 50 124 2,439 21 40 60.9:1 18 16 2
2017 45.8 118 1,515 21 49 30.9:1 23 18 8
2018 73.8 108 1,771 31 73 24.2:1 34 39 18
2019 44 95 1,677 20 38 44.1:1 14 17 13
Total 273.6 445 7,402 93 200 38.6:1 89 90 41