Expand your business to Korea and beyond with the K-Startup Grand Challenge

Accelerator Program, Access to funding, Access to Network, Corporate sponsorship Deadline passed

Get in the Ring is teaming up with National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), and the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups to transform Korea’s economy for another century of success. In order to do this, the government is supporting talented entrepreneurs and promising startups, to turn Korea and Pangyo Techno Valley into a global startup hub in Asia via the K-Startup Grand Challenge.


This year, 2021, marks the sixth edition of the international K-Startup Grand Challenge. The primary purpose of the program is to assist global startups looking to expand into the Korean and broader Asian markets. Over the past five years, 200+ selected startups were invited to come to Korea for the program and collected $1.2 billion from domestic and international investors. 374 contracts were signed, and 89 startups set up their entities in Korea. The K-Startup Grand Challenge’s impact continues to bolster Korea’s reputation as a leading startup hub in Asia for global startups.


The startups that participated in the K-Startup Grand Challenge were evaluated by specialists in each tech field and given a chance to network with them. The selection was based on the level of creativity in each startup, their business concept, technologies, as well as their desire to base their business in Korea. By the end of the program, a number of promising companies were ready to take on the Asian market and shake up the world. The K-Startup Grand Challenge has been applauded for its impartial selection processes, participating organizations’ competence and passion.


The K-Startup Grand Challenge’s impact continues to bolster Korea’s reputation as a leading startup hub in Asia. The key purpose of the K-Startup Grand Challenge is to promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas among startups from Korea and around the world. The K-Startup Grand Challenge helps startups, like yours, get on their feet, start running with new ideas, encouraging them to merge, collide, and lead to new innovations.

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges


Industry 4.0 is a paradigm shift for the whole world. Major changes are happening with the merging of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blockchain, vehicle automation, smart factories and more. With culture and infrastructure that quickly adapt to the most recent technological advances, Korea is at the centre of all. With 221 accelerators and 134 innovation centres (as of February 2020), Korea provides the best support and environment for startups just beginning their journey.

We are looking for talented entrepreneurs in Europe and Africa who are looking to expand their business to the Korean and Asian market in the following verticals:

What's in it for you?

  • 3.5-Month Accelerator Program

  • Office and project space

  • Corporate Sponsorship and Support

  • Help Desk and Visa Support

  • Financial Support

Additional Criteria

  • Venture must be less than 7 years old

  • Technology-based startups that have prototype or product/service and at initial investment stage

  • Must be willing to relocate to Korea for 3.5-Month acceleration program

Check out what some of the past winners have to say about the challenge:


June 15, 2021

Deadline Applications

The deadline for applications of proposals is June 15th 2021 at midnight (UTC+2).
July 5 - 9

Global Auditions

Online meetings with Korean stakeholders
July 13th

Final Results Announced

*Due to COVID-19, all foreigners have to go to Korea before August 15 in order to go into quarantine. The quarantine period will be August 15-31.
August 15 - November 30

Acceleration Program

Acceleration program begins with the top 60 teams
Late November

Demo Day

Demo Day top 30 teams will be selected to settle in Korea
Deadline passed

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges