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Support for AI Startup Growth Together with Global Companies Kicks Off

Ministry of SMEs and Startups
- Opening Ceremony of the Global Startup Academy Held -

□ Representatives of the Korea branch offices of global companies and startup planners, head of the Graduate School of artificial intelligence (AI) from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and other distinguished guests participated, expressing their will to develop global AI startups from Korea.

- Global companies (NVIDIA, Microsoft (MS), Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Intel) and global startup planners (500Startups, Plug&Play, SOSV, and Startupbootcamp), among others, to start nurturing 60 AI startup teams.
The “Global Startup Academy” has opened and representatives of global companies and top-class global startup planners (accelerators) will reside in Korea and provide world-class AI training and nurturing services for the first time in Korea through the academy.
The Korean Ministry of SMEs (small and midsized enterprises) and Startups (MSS, Minister Park Young-sun) announced that it held the opening ceremony of the Global Startup Academy at its main campus in Gangnam-gu District, Seoul, Korea, (Sparkplus Gangnam No. 2, 20F) on August 19 (Wednesday).
The Global Startup Academy is a new program established this year to intensively nurture global AI startups from Korea given that there is not a single Korean company among the world’s top 100 AI startups* despite the fact that the global AI market is rapidly growing.
* According to a selection in March 2020 by CB Insights, a U.S. market research agency
The program has drawn much attention of startup teams already before its opening as four global companies (NVIDIA, MS, AWS, and Intel) and four world’s top startup planners (accelerators) (500Startups, Plug&Play, SOSV, and Startupbootcamp) will be participating in the teams’ training and nurturing. The ministry finally selected on July 16, 60 teams to join the academy through document screening and evaluation of presentations.
The academy will run its programs largely divided into the four programs of training, nurturing, networking, and commercialization support.
①The global companies are expected to run technology training courses that tap on each company’s characteristics and strengths, and some will use their in-house training courses among others. The four global companies will sequentially run training courses from August to November.
 * Dates of training courses: MS (August), AWS (September), Intel (October), and NVIDIA (November)
A project using Kaggle, a global big data solution platform, will also be intensively pursued to enhance the practical commercialization capability of the academy’s teams.
②Two nurturing experts from the world’s top startup planners (accelerators) will reside at the academy and nurture the startup teams in depth. The startup teams will thus get to experience diverse global startup planners (accelerators), decide the optimal countries and markets to advance to, and draw up advancement strategies accordingly.
③The academy equally plans to have the startup teams build a global network by exchanging with foreign startups through international organizations.
* The global networking program may change depending on the COVID-19 situation.
④The new students’ teams will also get to enjoy a maximum of KRW 50 million in support fund for commercialization and be provided with business space inside the academy.
Today’s opening ceremony was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the ceremony offline, representatives of the Korea branch offices of the global companies and startup planners (accelerators), head of the Graduate School of AI from KAIST, and other distinguished guests participated. Time was also provided for the new teams joining the academy to ask questions and get explanations on the training and nurturing courses they will get.
* NVIDIA Korea CEO Yu Yong-jun, General Manager and CEO Lee Ji-eun of Microsoft Korea, AWS Country Director of Korea Yoon Jeongwon, and Intel Korea CEO Kwon Myeong-sook 500Startups Korea’s Business Development and Community ManagerKim Kyung-min, Plug&Play Korea Director Song Myoung-soo, and Head Chong Song of the Graduate School of AI at KAIST
The CEOs of the global companies and startup planners (accelerators) also sent congratulatory messages from their headquarters and pledged to do their best to discover and develop excellent Korean startups.
“As the entire world is working to overcome the COVID-19 crisis this year, the potential of the untact market, including AI, is growing globally…We will develop global AI companies from Korea to lead the smart Republic of Korea in the digital economy era at the Global Startup Academy,” MSS Minister Park Young-sun said.
“We will create funds for a smart Korea and K-unicorn projects in order to actively and additionally support the globalization of Korean startups working in the untact field, such as AI,” she continued.
The academy will run for about 8 months until February 2021 and will move to Guro, Seoul, Korea, early next year when the Guro G-Square is expected to be built. It will then continue to operate there. The academy thus plans to create synergy by exchanging with the about 10,000 SMEs and venture firms aggregated there nearby.