The K-Startup Grand Challenge, the competitive accelerator program held every year in Seoul, Korea offers startups all over the world a global platform to break into Asia using the Korean market as a stepping stone. The objective is to encourage and engage startups to present their ideas, support them in their startup journey and help them expand across Asia. Korea has an upper hand in hi-tech research, electronics manufacturing, connectivity, quick consumer consumption of new services and more.
This year saw resounding participation from startups with solutions across artificial intelligence, logistics, biotech, robotics, beauty wearables, gaming, urban solutions and more. The region saw 2,568 applications from 129 countries, out of which over 60 global startups (with a huge chunk from India) were shortlisted to take part in a live pitch session to a jury panel from the startup ecosystem.
A glimpse into the startups’ unique solutions
Following the pitching round, four promising startups from India, France, Finland and UK were selected as the finalists for the challenge.
- Avidia Labs (India) – Avidia Labs is an edtech company that is providing an immersive, interactive, hands-on learning platform so as to explore the curriculum and tap the right futuristic skills through the blend of cutting-edge technologies like Extended Reality and AI.
- Bovlabs SAS (France) – Blovlabs’s solution uses a smart agent to integrate directly with devices like smart meters, EV Chargers or other data aggregators using protocols like Modbus, OCPP having light blockchain node to transact peer-to-peer with reduced transaction cost and high security.
- Finnadvance (Finland) – Finnadvance is a microtechnology and 3D biology solution company that is developing microfluidic organ-on-chips for pharmaceutical drug research and development.
- Genrobotics Medical and Mobility Limited (UK) – Genrobotics is creating medical mobility for the physically challenged by making aids using robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
Everyone’s a winner at K-Startup
This winter has a lot in store for the selected startups. In addition to winning a grant of up to $320,000, the 3.5 month-long accelerator program will give them access to free office space, one-on-one mentoring, access to state-of-the-art R&D labs and the opportunity to work in the Global Startup campus.
Teams will also have access to regular networking sessions and opportunities to meet large Korean companies that are eager to partner with startups.
At the Demo Day and Settlement Program set to take place in December, the top 30 startups will be eligible to receive more grants worth $11,136 (₩12,250,000 per team) between January and April 2022. The participating accelerators can also make equity investments in the most promising startups, and participants can access other VCs and investors who may choose to invest in their idea.
Gear up for K-Startup Grand Challenge 2022
If you missed out on applying this year, worry not. The K-Startup Grand Challenge will be back in 2022 to help startups all around the world set up, thrive and grow in South Korea.
To prepare better for next year’s challenge, here are a few tips to keep in mind. First, keep yourself updated with the latest technology and business trends. Secondly, in order to pass the document evaluation, your business plan and action plan must be clearly and creatively presented. And finally, in the presentation evaluation, it’s important to show the potential power of your company to succeed in a new/niche market through demonstrating its technological capability.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to go global and scale your startup.