South Korea has taken a strong interest in becoming one of the most innovative technological countries in the world. A lot has to do with the strong support from the Korean government in their “Creative Economy” campaign which was created by Park Geun-Hye. The supportive of the campaign is to promote startups in Korea as well as more entrepreneurship. A creative economy means converging science, technology, and ICT with the creativity of the people to create synergy.
For the last 3 years, Korea has invested over $2 billion in the startup ecosystem in Korea. The K-Startup Grand Challenge is a project financed by the Korean government and hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning to promote the expansion of open entrepreneurship in not only Korea but also in Asia for foreign startups (Korean companies can not enter the challenge). Hopefully this can help South Korea become a prominent startup business hub in Asia. The K-Startup Grand Challenge looks to endorse foreign startups to enter into Korea through a global startup acceleration program. Foreign startups can use Korea to be the headquarters for their Asia expansion plans.
The competition at the K-Startup Grand Challenge has been intense. The winning IT startup will get financial and legal support such as visas to help their business grow in Korea. More than 2,000 startups from over 120 countries have come to Korea to be a part the K-Startup Grand Challenge which takes place in Pangy0. The startup campus in Pangyo which opened in March was built to offer startups a platform to grow to turn it into the Asian version of the Silicon Valley. Many startups got to pitch their ideas to accelerators, VCs, and tech companies at the Challenge. By the end of the week only 40 teams will be moving on to the next round. These startups will be eligible for financial support as well as office spaces in and around Seoul.
Some of the hottest technologies were showcased at the K-Startup Grand Challenge. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality technologies, UAVs and video games. Those that make the top 40 will have the chance to be a part of a three month entrepreneurship course at Pangyo campus. The entrepreneurship course will offer mentorship with experts in many different tech fields and well as the top business strategists. Of the 40 only 20 will be selected to the December Demo-Day Assessment. That is when the startups can present actual prototypes/services concepts. Each team will be given 40 million won under the condition they establish their companies in Korea. This should in turn create new jobs in Korea was well as further Korea’s research and development.
“If our idea makes it to the final 20, we want to work with such talented software engineers from Korea and face together the coming IoT innovation in Asia.” said a participant in the K-Startup Grand Challenge.