Forty startups from around the world are packing their bags to begin a three-month acceleration program in Korea. Known as the K-Startup Grand Challenge, this program is part of Korea’s bid to diversify its startup ecosystem, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, along with several of the country’s largest companies.

Judges selected these 40 startups from among 2,439 that applied. The program’s 1.8% acceptance rate makes it 3.8 times more selective than Harvard University and around twice as selective as Y Combinator. The selection process included reviewing applications, local and regional interviews, and finally a week of intensive pitching for 78 finalists.

The final selection ran in Seoul from August 17 to 21, and startups pitched to the four accelerators that will now take charge of the program – SparkLabs, DEV Korea, Shift and ActnerLab. Each accelerator chose 10 startups to join their program.

Participating startups will get free office space in Korea’s new $160 million Startup Campus, round trip flights for three team members, assistance with visas, monthly stipends for living expenses and mentorship from major Korean tech companies.

After the initial three-month acceleration program concludes with a massive demo day, the top 20 startups will have opportunities for additional grants and investment, and be invited to stay in Korea long-term.

This is the inaugural year for K-Startup Grand Challenge, and organizers plan to expand it in the future to offer larger opportunities for a greater number startups.

To keep up on the latest news about the K-Startup Grand Challenge, visit the official website (http://www.k-startupgc.org, https://www.facebook.com/kstartup2016/), the newsroom (http://kstartup.g3partners.asia/) and follow program organizers on Twitter (https://twitter.com/startupinkorea).

 

Participating Startups

  • Appiness – Belgium
  • ChemiSense – USA
  • Clear Flight Solutions – Netherlands
  • DarcMatter – USA
  • DOV-E – Israel
  • Einsof Biohealth – USA
  • Fashory – Singapore
  • Favful – Malaysia
  • Findster Technologies – Portugal
  • Fingertips Lab – USA
  • Fletch – USA
  • GetLinks – Thailand
  • GoGreen EOT – India
  • Herxun Technology – Taiwan
  • iGrow – Indonesia
  • Imagga Technologies – Bulgaria
  • JIO.SG – Singapore
  • Kadho – USA
  • Mind Rockets – Jordan
  • MoonROK Media – USA Music Mind – USA
  • My Music Teacher – France
  • Ourotech – Canada
  • Preksh Innovations – India
  • Pulzze Systems – USA
  • RealSpeaker – UK
  • Smartphlex – USA
  • SoundRex – India
  • Teambay – Germany
  • The Energy Audit – Italy
  • TOONYOU – Belgium
  • TravelFan – Hong Kong
  • Traversal Networks – USA
  • Triip – Singapore
  • Unnyhog – USA
  • Vanity Trove – Singapore
  • Vegam Solutions – Singapore
  • VersaFleet – Singapore
  • Yppuna – Vietnam
  • YToday – Malaysia