K-STARTUP GRAND CHALLENGE PROGRAM

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What is the KSGC Program?Applying to the KSGC

The KSGC is an inbound program designed to attract promising foreign startups to Korea within the “Global Accelerating Activation Program” under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups of the Republic of Korea. The objective, expected outcome, and effects of the KSGC are as follows.

  1. 1. (Objective) Supporting promising foreign startups to enter Korean and international markets and promoting Korea as the global leading startup business hub.
  2. 2. (Expected outcome and effects) The participating teams will establish corporations in Korea and hire Koreans with the objective to run businesses in Korea, as well as create new businesses within Korea and expand to the overseas market, and consequently contribute to the globalization of the Korean startup ecosystem.

What is the qualification to apply KSGC program?Applying to the KSGC

  1. 1. A startup or a pre-startup team of not more than 7 years, whose representative has foreign nationality or is an overseas Korean (foreign national or a foreign compatriot)
  2. 2. The team must have a clear growth objective for entering the overseas market, with their base in the Korean market, with the goal of settling down in Korea.
  3. 3. The team leader and members must not be disqualified from staying in Korea or acquiring a related visa in Korea, and the team must have one or more member with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  4. 4. The team must have people who can communicate in English(required) and Korean(optional) to establish a business in Korea. There is no other limitation such as investment or revenue status, etc.

How to apply the KSGC program?Applying to the KSGC

You can ONLY apply through our official website, www.k-startupgc.org. Others such as email, phone, mail will not be accepted.

When does the application close?Applying to the KSGC

The application will be closed 13:00 (GMT +9), 14th June. There will be no exception for the late submission. Make sure to check the time difference between where you are and Korea Standard Time.

What is the competitive rate of the program?Applying to the KSGC

n 2018, there were 1,771 applicants from 108 nations, and we selected 80 teams (ratio 22:1). In 2017, there were 1,515 applicants from 118 nations, and we selected 50 teams (ratio 30:1). In 2019, we are going to select 40 teams.

How long is the KSGC Program? How long can I use the Global Boot Camp and its facilities?Applying to the KSGC

The program will be 3.5 months long, starting from mid August~early December. During this period, your team will be provided with free office space in the Global Boot Camp. If your team is chosen as final TOP 20 teams from the Demo Day, you will be able to continuously use the free office space.

How many team members can participate in the program? Are we required to live in Republic of Korea?Applying to the KSGC

An applicant team shall be consist of a team leader (required) and members (optional). Only the team leader and members that are registered in the initial application, shall only be eligible to participate in the program. There is no limitation on the number of members in a team, but KSGC only offers 2 regular seats for each team during their participation. Other members can use the empty, unassigned seats.

The participating teams must stay in Korea and devote themselves to the KSGC program during the participating period. Participants must be present and leave attendance records at least 3 times per week at the Global Boot Camp.

Do I need to be fluent in Korean to participate? What is the official language in the KSGC program?Applying to the KSGC

A participate team is required to have an English speaker. Having a Korean speaker would be an optional. The official language in the KSGC is English.

Does the KSGC offer a special visa?Applying to the KSGC

When you are selected to participate in KSGC program, you are at your own responsibility to obtain a proper visa to enter Korea. KSGC will issue visa invitation letter(s) to participating startups upon request. Find more information at https://www.visa.go.kr/

During the program,
  1. 1. We, as the Global Start-up Immigration Center designated by the Ministry of Justice, operates the Overall Assistance for Start-up Immigration System(OASIS). We support programs for the Job-Seeker visa (D-10) and Technology and Business Startup visa (D-8-4) for the individuals of the KSGC participating teams.
  2. 2. The conditions required to obtain Job-Seeker visa (D-10) and Technology and Business Startup visa (D-8-4) shall be in accordance with the data collection book of the OASIS to be introduced separately.

It takes a few days to be eligible for D-10 visa, but it may take up to 4 months for D-8-4 visa as one has to earn certain OASIS points. Moreover, it usually takes 2~3 weeks to obtain D-10 and D-8-4 visa depending on the circumstances of the immigration office. While the visa issuance is in the process, you are not allowed to leave Korea until the visa status is confirmed.

I have been selected. What happens next?Applying to the KSGC

The KSGC Secretariat Office will issue invitation letter for proper visa to enter Korea upon request. While waiting for the visa to be issued, please keep us updated with the status of visa issuance, expected date of entry, names of the team leader and member(s) who will attend the orientation and participate in the program.

Can I be accepted in the program and get my visa rejected?Applying to the KSGC

One of the qualifications of the KSGC program is acquiring a proper visa to enter Korea. If you get disqualified from entering Korea or acquiring a proper visa to stay in Korea, you will be disqualified to participate in KSGC program. No worries, there has been no such cases so far.

What are the benefits of participating in the KSGC? Applying to the KSGC

During the 3,5 months, the support below shall be provided to participating teams
  1. 1. Settlement Fund
  2. 2. Start-up visa program through the OASIS (Overall Assistance for Startup Immigration System)
  3. 3. Accelerating programs (training, mentoring, consulting on the corporate establishment, investment support events, etc.)
  4. 4. Help desk (settlement support, life convenience support, etc.)
  5. 5. Incubating facilities

What are the selection criteria of KSGC?Applying to the KSGC

  1. 1. Evaluation for documents shall be based on the criteria below.
    • - Business Plan / Idea / Asian Market fit
    • - Strategy & Execution / Team Building
  2. 2. Evaluation for interview shall be based on the below criteria.
    • - Target Market / Problem or Need / Solution / Team, Board, Advisors
    • - Traction / Competition vs. Competitive Advantages / Revenue Model
    • - Financial Projections / Asian market fit / Overall Presentation · Q&A

Regarding the candidate selected by the previous paragraph, the president of the agency in charge shall confirm the participating teams after legal and institutional review including Korean market regulations and the executing agency’s consent and distribution, but this process does not constitute either approval or guarantee of the legal effectiveness of the participants’ business activities.

When will the result be published, and how will I be notified?Applying to the KSGC

  1. 1. (Document Evaluation) 24th-26th Jun
  2. 2. (Interview Evaluation) 23th-25th July * The dates are subject to change

The applying team shall assume full responsibility in the event of an error in the email address, or failure to receive e-mails due to a faulty internet service provider or network defect provided by the applying team. The applying team is also responsible for checking the status of e-mail transmission and receipt by the agency in charge at all times so that communication can be done from and to each other in due course for each issue.

Who will help me between my acceptance and arrival to the Republic of Korea?Right before you arrive to the KSGC Program

Helpdesk staffs will be available to answer your inquiries. We will announce the contact point of helpdesk once you are accepted to KSGC program.

When will the KSGC Program start?Right before you arrive to the KSGC Program

The new program of 2019 will start in August 21st. The participating teams need to enter Republic of Korea before the 20th of August to join orientation session on the following day.

We are accepted to the KSGC Program. Can we choose our start date?Right before you arrive to the KSGC Program

You may choose your own start date under unavoidable circumstances; however, there will be disadvantage for not fully participating in KSGC program, such as reduction in scores of final evaluation.

Will the seats be assigned to startups participating in the KSGC Program?Right before you arrive to the KSGC Program

Yes, KSGC offers 2 regular seats and 2 desks per team during their participation. If there are more than 2 members in your team, other members can use the open office space.

In the KSGC Program, can I change the spot where I’m sitting?Right before you arrive to the KSGC Program

It depends on the circumstance, such as availability of the seats and monitors, and consent of other teams.

Are we able to change the team leader during the program?Participating to the KSGC

In general, it is not possible to change the team leader. Team leader should participate in the whole process of KSGC. program. However, under the unavoidable circumstances, it could be possible after consultation with KSGC Secretariat Office. In this case, the decision will be made whether or not the qualification of the new leader is equivalent to the previous leader.

Is there any obligation and regulations we have to abide by during the participation?Participating to the KSGC

Yes, please read the following:
  1. 1. The participating teams shall not perform actions that may harm national dignity of the Republic of Korea or are not suitable for the KSGC purpose or the expected outcome and effects.
  2. 2. The participating teams must stay in Korea and devote themselves to the KSGC programs during the KSGC period and must attend the Global Boot Camp at least 3 times per week, an incubating facility
  3. 3. Exceptions are allowed if the participating team is made to us in advance and approved by us. (overseas business trip, temporary leave, other reasons due to natural disasters, etc)
  4. 4. The participating teams shall submit monthly business reports.

Can my startup be asked to leave during the participation?Participating to the KSGC

KSGC Secretariat Office shall take necessary measures including restriction on participation from KSGC when the participating teams and the follow-up support teams come under the items below.

  1. 1. In case of a participating team or a member causes serious damage to the dignity of the KSGC
  2. 2. In case of a participating team or a member engages in an action that harms the national prestige of Korea or violates national interest
  3. 3. In case of a participating team or a member commits an act that violates the laws of the Republic of Korea
  4. 4. In case of a participating team or a member submits false data or does not comply with the verification request of the agency in charge without due cause
  5. 5. In case of a participating team or a member violates the KSGC guidelines or fails to comply with the guides of the secretariat office without due cause

Can I use KSGC Program’s logos in my email signature?Participating to the KSGC

Please let us know if you would like to use KSGCs logos, so that we can send you the original file (ai file) of our logo.

Can I tell the press about my participation in the KSGC Program?

Of course you can. Please let us know if your team has such great news!

Can I switch my accelerator during participating in the KSGC Program?Participating to the KSGC

You cannot change your accelerator once assigned, as your participation in the program have been decided by the accelerators.

What is the criteria on the final evaluation of KSGC?Participating to the KSGC

Final evaluation shall be conducted in accordance with the following criteria:
  1. 1. Efforts to settle business in Korea
  2. 2. Business performance in Korea
  3. 3. Level of participation in accelerating
  4. 4. KSGC participation
  5. 5. Business model excellence and potential success in Korea

Other

If your question has not been answered through this FAQ, please contact us at k-startugpc@nipa.kr

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