Today, May 31, 2022, Tuesday, is the last day for startups to apply for the biggest accelerator program, sponsored by the Korean government – K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC) 2022. The program, which is also supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), is organised by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA).
It will be held for 3.5 months at the sprawling 661,928m campus of Pangyo Techno Valley.
The startup accelerator program, launched in 2016, supports foreign startups that want to enter the Korean market and further explore the international markets. Over the years, the program has supported startups and businesses that have succeeded in multiple fields globally like Artificial Intelligence, fintech, logistics, biotechnology, robotics, game development, IoT, e-commerce, etc.
KSGC 2022 at Pangyo Techno Valley
Every year the KSGC program is held at the Pangyo Techno Valley campus, located to the south of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province. The campus is a hub with high-tech facilities like a Global R&D Center, the Public Support Center, and the Industry-Academy R&D Center. Korea’s best ICT-based R&D innovation cluster is located on the campus, with a total of 5.27 trillion won (around US$4.2 billion) invested by the South Korean government.
The campus provides an apt environment where SMEs and startups can exchange information with high-tech research institutes and large global companies. This hub aims to merge different industrial sectors, mostly within information and communications technology, to create new business opportunities and foster the growth of startups. Born2Global Center reports that Korea’s top 60 startups and the K-Global 300 startups are located in the Pangyo Startup Campus.
The Startup Campus in Pangyo is located within walking distance of many of Korea’s top tech companies and just a 14-minute subway ride away from the famous Gangnam district of Seoul.
In the last six years of the KSGC program, many startups have successfully established their businesses in Korea and Southeast Asia. The 3.5-month program supports startups financially and gives them multiple opportunities to network with top tech companies, VCs, mentors, etc.
In its inception year itself, KSGC received an overwhelming response with applications from 2,439 startup teams from 124 countries. In 2021, KSGC got 2,568 applications from 129 countries, with 54 startup teams finally selected to participate.
The KSGC 2021 top winning startup Khenda from Turkey, an AI-based video analytics platform that helps manufacturing plants increase their efficiency at production lines by analyzing manual activities, is already tasting success in Korea.” As Khenda, we expanded our operations by making great progress during the 3.5 months when we opened up to the Asian market and increased our business activities.
Additionally, we got introduced to one of the respectable businessmen in South Korea, Dong Hoon Shin, through KSGC. Shin is now part of our Advisory Board,” said Aykan Ekici, co-founder of Khenda, the top winner of KSGC 2021.