An international startup competition that has received 7402 applications from 151 countries with more than 1.2 billion USD in startup capital by 2019. Startups who join KSGC 2020 will have the chance to gain momentum for strong growth.


Market expansion is a must for any startups who aim to call for investment. Investors require startups to have specific strategies to grow and scale beyond borders.


From startups with experience in accessing the international market, many problems and difficulties have been posed: different language and consumption habits of the market, different policies, market beliefs of new foreign products, the ability to survive when testing the market,… Startups need to solve a lot of problems without implements including international mentors or experts, connection to the startup support units in the target area, sufficient financial resources to maintain operation.


A stepping stone to scale with “wings”

With the desire to bring more and more opportunities for Asian startups to recover after a difficult period due to COVID-19 and to gain momentum for strong growth, “K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020 (KSGC 2020)”, the international startup competition support startups to establish in South Korea and scale globally. The top 3 get financial package up to $120k, fully funded living expenses, staffing support, accelerating program for 3 months in Korea.

In its 5th year, with the commitment of Korean famous global companies such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Naver, and Lotte, …KSGC 2020 guarantees startups access to a network of advisors and founders, experts, and investors around the world.

“Our business has grown tremendously since starting up in Korea—we’ve established new partnerships with sponsorships and brands, and we’ve seen huge growth on our website in terms of traffic and users”- Hannah Waitt, CEO at moonROK Media shared about the achievements they’ve gotten after participating in the KSGC 2019.

Startup selection criteria

Startups that have been established within that past 7 years are eligible to apply.

How to apply

Detail guide on how to apply for Asian startups: https://www.ksgc2020.org/

Official global website: https://www.k-startupgc.org/

Fanpage to book appointment for help desk: https://www.facebook.com/ksgc2020asia/

Application Period: May 15 – June 25. 2020


Benefits Of K-Startup Grand Challenge

Grant for Top 5 Startups

1st Prize : $120,000 (₩135,600,000)

2nd Prize : $60,000 (₩67,800,000)

3rd Prize : $30,000 (₩33,900,000)

4th Prize : $20,000 (₩22,600,000)

5th Prize : $10,000 (₩11,300,000)


Final Package

Grant for Top 30 Startups (Jan – Apr 2021)

Each of the selected top 30 startups will be eligible to receive funding for 3.5 months.

∙ $10,840 (₩12,250,000) per team of 1 person

∙ $15,490 (₩17,500,000) per team of 2 people


Korean Interns Support (3 months)

Provide Korean interns to assist your business in Korea for 3 months. (1 intern per 2 teams)

There will be a speed dating session, so you could choose your own Korean intern to work with. The intern would definitely help you to tear down the language and cultural barrier, the two most difficult things you could face while pursuing business in a foreign country.


Living Expenses (Aug – Nov 2020)

Each of the 60 startups in the program will receive money to cover the living expenses over 3.5 months.

∙ $10,840 (₩12,250,000) per team of 1 person

∙ $15,490 (₩17,500,000) per team of 2 people

During the quarantine period, participants should pay the cost of isolation housing which the Korea Government provides from living expenses (Living expenses include the quarantine fund for 2 weeks before the program starts.)


Accelerating Program (3 months)

  • 60 teams will be selected to join a 3 months-Accelerating program during which they will receive:
  • a free office space
  • 1-on-1 mentors
  • information sessions on Korean and Asian business culture, as well as specific business topics (e.g. patents, accounting, regulations, tax laws, etc.)
  • access to regular networking sessions
  • exposure to Korean major companies


Free Office and Project Space (Startup Campus)

Selected teams will be provided with project space including equipment for product/service production and development, testbeds, as well as an incubating infrastructure at the Startup Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley.

Help Desk & Visas

As the South Korean government supports the improvement in Visa regulations for foreign startups and entrepreneurs through the new OASIS program, Visa-related issues will be taken care of by the Korean government. Also, various services are available for overseas startups such as administrative support, housing, and so on.

Additional Investments

The accelerators may make equity investments in the most promising startups. Startups may have access to other VCs and investors who may choose to invest.

Corporate Sponsorship and Support

Korea’s largest tech companies will participate in various seminars, workshops, and 1-on-1 mentoring. If you need any help beyond the scope of the K-Startup Grand Challenge program, you can be a partner with these companies and receive resources and expertise.


For questions or assistance with the contest, please contact:

  • E: k.startupgc2020@gmail.com
  • P: +84.339.912.764