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K-Startup Grand Challenge/ #SouthKorea

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OBJECTIVES 

The Korean government is working to transform the country’s economy for another century of success, ultimately raising employment, the GDP and Korea’s place in the world. In order to do this, the government is supporting talented entrepreneurs and promising startups, to turn Korea and Pangyo Creative Economy Valley into a global startup hub in Asia.

The top ranked 60 teams selected by the accelerators will be invited to stay in Korea to participate a 3.5 month accelerating program in Pangyo, located in the south of Seoul.

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At the end of the acceleration program, the government will host a demo day to select top 30 startups. These startups will get additional financial incentives, and if they choose to establish their businesses in Korea, they will get additional support from the government.

 

WHEN
KSGC Program Period: August 16 – November 30. 2021 (Application Period: April 15 – June 15. 2021) (Subject to change)
WHO
60 global startup teams will be selected
WHAT
Acceleration program, mentoring, 1:1 business meeting, Korean intern provided, settlement fund(top 30-60), prizes(top 10), office space
WHERE
Startup Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley, 14 minutes south of GangNam, South Korea.

What is the KSGC Program?

The KSGC is an inbound program designed to attract promising foreign startups to Korea within the “Global Accelerating Activation Program” under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups of the Republic of Korea. The objective, expected outcome, and effects of the KSGC are as follows.

  1. 1. (Objective) Supporting promising foreign startups to enter Korean and international markets and promoting Korea as the global leading startup business hub.
  2. 2. (Expected outcome and effects) The participating teams will establish corporations in Korea and hire Koreans with the objective to run businesses in Korea, as well as create new businesses within Korea and expand to the overseas market, and consequently contribute to the globalization of the Korean startup ecosystem.

What is the qualification to apply KSGC program?

  1. 1. A startup or a pre-startup team of not more than 7 years, whose representative has foreign nationality
  2. 2. The team must have a clear growth objective for entering the overseas market, with their base in the Korean market, with the goal of settling down in Korea.
  3. 3. The team leader and members must not be disqualified from staying in Korea or acquiring a related visa in Korea, and the team must have one or more member with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  4. 4. The team must have people who can communicate in English(required) and Korean(optional) to establish a business in Korea. There is no other limitation such as investment or revenue status, etc.

How to apply the KSGC program?

You can ONLY apply through our official website, www.k-startupgc.org. Others such as email, phone, mail will not be accepted.

When does the application close?

The application will be closed 15th June. There will be no exception for the late submission.

What is the competitive rate of the program?

In 2020, there were 2,648 applicants from 118 nations, and we selected 55 teams (ratio 44:1). In 2019, there were 1,677 applicants from 95 nations, and we selected 38 teams (42:1). In 2021, we are going to select 60 teams.

How long is the KSGC Program? How long can I use the Global Boot Camp and its facilities?

The program will be 3.5 months long, starting from mid August to November 30th. (Including 2 weeks of quarantine) During this period, your team will be provided with free office space in the Global Boot Camp. If your team is chosen as final TOP 30 teams from the Demo Day, you will be able to continuously use the free office space.

How many team members can participate in the program? Are we required to live in Republic of Korea?

An applicant team shall be consisting of a team leader (required) and members (optional). Only the team leader and members that are registered in the initial application, shall only be eligible to participate in the program. There is no limitation on the number of members in a team, but KSGC only offers 2 regular seats for each team during their participation. Other members can use the empty, unassigned seats.

The participating teams must stay in Korea and devote themselves to the KSGC program during the participating period. Participants must be present and leave attendance records at least 3 times per week at the Global Boot Camp.

Do I need to be fluent in Korean to participate? What is the official language in the KSGC program?

A participate team is required to have an English speaker. Having a Korean speaker would be an optional. The official language in the KSGC is English.

Does the KSGC offer a special visa?

When you are selected to participate in KSGC program, you are at your own responsibility to obtain a proper visa to enter Korea. KSGC will issue visa invitation letter(s) to participating startups upon request. Find more information at https://www.visa.go.kr/

During the program,
  1. 1. We, as the Global Start-up Immigration Center designated by the Ministry of Justice, operates the Overall Assistance for Start-up Immigration System (OASIS). We support programs for the Job-Seeker visa (D-10) and Technology and Business Startup visa (D-8-4) for the individuals of the KSGC participating teams.
  2. 2. The conditions required to obtain Job-Seeker visa (D-10) and Technology and Business Startup visa (D-8-4) shall be in accordance with the data collection book of the OASIS to be introduced separately.

It takes a few days to be eligible for D-10 visa, but it may take up to 4 months for D-8-4 visa as one has to earn certain OASIS points. Moreover, it usually takes 2~3 weeks to obtain D-10 and D-8-4 visa depending on the circumstances of the immigration office. While the visa issuance is in the process, you are not allowed to leave Korea until the visa status is confirmed.

I have been selected. What happens next?

The KSGC Secretariat Office will issue invitation letter for proper visa to enter Korea upon request. While waiting for the visa to be issued, please keep us updated with the status of visa issuance, expected date of entry, names of the team leader and member(s) who will attend the orientation and participate in the program.

Can I be accepted in the program and get my visa rejected?

One of the qualifications of the KSGC program is acquiring a proper visa to enter Korea. If you get disqualified from entering Korea or acquiring a proper visa to stay in Korea, you will be disqualified to participate in KSGC program. No worries, there has been no such cases so far.

What are the benefits of participating in the KSGC?

During the 3,5 months, the support below shall be provided to participating teams
  1. 1. Settlement Fund (Including self quarantine expense)
  2. 2. Start-up visa program through the OASIS (Overall Assistance for Startup Immigration System)
  3. 3. Accelerating programs (training, mentoring, consulting on the corporate establishment, investment support events, etc.)
  4. 4. Help desk (settlement support, life convenience support, etc.)
  5. 5. Incubating facilities
  6. 6. Korea Intern working for you to help your business in Korea

What are the selection criteria of KSGC?

  1. 1. Evaluation for documents shall be based on the criteria below.
    • – Business Plan / Idea / Asian Market fit
    • – Strategy & Execution / Team Building
  2. 2. Evaluation for interview shall be based on the below criteria.
    • – Target Market / Problem or Need / Solution / Team, Board, Advisors
    • – Traction / Competition vs. Competitive Advantages / Revenue Model
    • – Financial Projections / Asian market fit / Overall Presentation · Q&A

Regarding the candidate selected by the previous paragraph, the president of the agency in charge shall confirm the participating teams after legal and institutional review including Korean market regulations and the executing agency’s consent and distribution, but this process does not constitute either approval or guarantee of the legal effectiveness of the participants’ business activities.

When will the result be published, and how will I be notified?

  1. 1. (Document Evaluation) June 21th – June 25th
  2. 2. (Global Auditions) July 5th – July 9th
  3. 3. (Final Result Top60) July 13th * The dates are subject to change

The applying team shall assume full responsibility in the event of an error in the email address, or failure to receive e-mails due to a faulty internet service provider or network defect provided by the applying team. The applying team is also responsible for checking the status of e-mail transmission and receipt by the agency in charge at all times so that communication can be done from and to each other in due course for each issue.

For more information please open this link

https://www.k-startupgc.org/project/challenge.do

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