African startups can apply for South Korea’s K-Startup Grand Challenge
Techpoint Africa

This article is brought to you as part of a new partnership between two of Africa's foremost news and information platforms for African tech startups, Ventureburn and Techpoint Africa.

K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC) is a startup accelerator programme conducted and financed by the Korean government.

The programme’s initiative is to support foreign startups that want to enter the Korean market and further explore the international markets.

Supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) in Korea, the programme is accepting applications until 25 June.

The selected startup teams get many benefits if selected for the three-month programme. From networking opportunities and learning from experts to financial support and business development.

While no African startup made the cut last year, NIPA’s Jonghyun Lee said things might turn out different this year

Also, the selected startups can look forward to a promising future in Asia. This is because of Korea’s convenient geographical location and its strategically beneficial relationships with other countries in the sub-continent.

How African startups can apply

In 2019, the programme received applications from 1677 teams from 95 countries. In all, 38 teams were selected for the accelerator programme.

These teams came from Europe, Asia and America. Out of the 38, 20 teams were selected on final demo day, and they received further follow-up support from January to April 2020.

Although no African startup made the cut last year, Jonghyun Lee, Manager at NIPA told Techpoint that things might turn out different this year.

“In 2018, there was only one African startup in our challenge. Last year, 90 African startups applied for this programme. Some startups passed the document screening but they couldn’t pass the global audition process.

“Last December, NIPA signed an aide-memoire with the African Development Bank about the KGSC programme. Comparing last year, K-Startup Grand Challenge is marketing passionately to invite more African startups,” he said.

There is a larger scope for 60 talented and innovative startup teams to be part in this year’s edition. And for the demo day scheduled from 19 to 21 November, the number of teams required to attend will be the top 30, up from 20 last year.

According to Lee, “the programme is only for startups with foreign nationality (not Korean) entrepreneur.”

Also, promising startups that are less than seven years old with a clear objective to expand to Asia through South Korea can apply.

As for the sectors, they include artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, networking, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, auto Tech, virtual reality, augmented reality, smart city, health, semiconductor, green energy, 3D printing, blockchain, fintech, information security, ecommerce, O2O (online-to-offline), logistics, media and more.

The original version of this article appeared on Techpoint Africa on 3 June. See it here.

Featured image: KINNYtv via Pixabay



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