In a strategic move to elevate its support for emerging entrepreneurs, South Korea’s Asan Nanum Foundation has introduced the groundbreaking “Asan Voyager” program. Founded in 2011 to commemorate the legacy of Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung (Asan), the foundation has been a driving force in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in South Korea.
The Asan Voyager program is specifically designed to provide comprehensive assistance to early-stage Korean startups with a vision for global expansion. The initiative recognizes the importance of breaking psychological barriers that often impede international growth. With a primary focus on tapping into new markets, Asan Voyager extends support in various forms, including financial aid, office spaces, mentoring, networking opportunities, and expert guidance.
For this ambitious venture this year, Asan Voyager has meticulously selected promising Korean startup teams that have been operational for less than five years and express a strong interest in entering the US market. The program offers substantial financial support, covering essential expenses such as airfare and accommodation for two team members, including the representative.
The Korean startups that are part of the Asan Voyager program this year include Munice, a startup that has developed sleeping app, Hopae that provides digital identity solution; Promedius, an AI Medical diagnostics startup, AD-Shield, an ad blocker developer, Skylink, an App development no-code platform, SPLAB, scheduling automation solution, Silvia Health, a Dementia prevention support, Colosseum, an AI driven logistics provider, and Relate, a CRM Software developer.
One of Asan Voyager’s key features is its strategic partnerships with domestic and international institutions operating in the United States. This collaboration ensures that the selected teams have access to local office spaces, easing their transition into the competitive US market and facilitating smoother integration.
Understanding the importance of local networks and expertise, Asan Voyager goes beyond financial assistance. The program organizes one-on-one mentoring sessions with industry experts, including accomplished entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with significant experience in global expansion. Experts such as Lee Seung-yoon, former CEO of Radish, Claire Jang from IgniteXL Ventures, Brian Jang from Collaborative Fund, and Bumsoo Kim from Translink Investment will provide insights, engage in discussions, and address questions related to business growth.
Additionally, startups participating in Asan Voyager receive tailored mentoring in specialized fields such as law, taxation and accounting, patents, investment, marketing, and sales. This holistic approach ensures practical assistance for startups in executing their global expansion plans. Asan Voyager equips participating teams with a comprehensive guidebook curated by Kim Bumsoo, Deputy Head of Translink Investment and renowned for managing the YouTube channel “Demo Day.” This guidebook serves as a valuable resource, consolidating crucial information that early-stage startups must be aware of when entering the US market.
Furthermore, the program extends support for promotional activities in overseas markets, allowing startups to establish their brand presence and reach wider audiences.
Chang Suk-Whan, Chairman of the Asan Nanum Foundation, expressed his commitment to supporting startups and acknowledged their ambition for global expansion. He emphasized the foundation’s dedication to providing multidimensional support through the newly launched Asan Voyager program. “The goal is to assist early-stage startups in settling into their target markets, enabling them to concentrate on business growth with a strong global perspective,” stated Chairman Chang.
The prestigious Asan Voyager program for 2023 has carefully selected a group of dynamic Korean startups poised for global expansion. These innovative companies span various industries, offering cutting-edge solutions and services to meet the needs of today’s market. With its multifaceted support system, Asan Voyager is set to significantly impact the trajectory of Korean startups venturing into the global arena.