K-Startup Grand Challenge

If you’re interested in establishing your startup in the Asian market, consider applying to this business accelerator based in Seoul, Korea.You can win up to $145,000 USD in equity-free funding over the course of a 3-month accelerator program and 6-month settlement program to help your company set up in South Korea

Registration for the last batch has closed. Follow Lootstrap on Facebookfor updates!

Award Amount

  • $12,500 USD for acceleration program (to cover living expenses)
  • $33,000 USD for settlement program
  • Additional prizes awarded:
    • Up to $100,000 USD top prize
    • Up to $40,000 USD second prize
    • Up to $20,000 USD third prize
    • Up to $6,000 USD fourth prize


  • Seoul, South Korea


  • 3-month intensive acceleration program (40 teams accepted)
  • 6-month settlement program (20 teams accepted)

Additional Benefits

  • Free coworking space in Startup Campus, Pangyo Techno Valley
  • Access to equipment, test beds, and incubating infrastructure
  • Seminars, workshops, conferences teach you what you need to know to expand in Asia
  • Networking events give you access to investors
  • One-on-one mentoring from local and foreign experts
  • Close contact with large Korean companies such as LG, Hyundai, and Samsung
  • Opportunity to work alongside other international startup companies
  • South Korean working visas provided by the government
  • Administrative, translation/interpretation, and medical support for foreign teams
  • Assistance with accommodations and roundtrip plane tickets to South Korea
    • For one team member each for the 80 teams selected to pitch
    • For three team members each for 40 teams selected for acceleration program

Who Can Apply

  • Early and growing-stage startups
  • Desire to relocate to South Korea and expand into the Asian market

Selection Criteria

  • Disruptive innovation in a variety of sectors, including but not limited to:
    • Game/fintech, the IoT, software, smart devices, cloud, 5G and big data sectors
  • Teams with in-house business, technical, and design skills preferred
  • Single-founder companies are eligible to apply
  • Originality of your MVP
  • Quality of your business model and its potential

Application Process

  • Written application
  • 160 teams selected for auditions and remote interviews
  • 80 teams invited to South Korea for week-long pitching session
  • 40 teams selected for 3-month Acceleration Program
  • 20 teams chosen on Demo day for 6-month Settlement Program


  • Once you are accepted, your business must be incorporated in Korea
  • At least one team member must be in Korea during the following:
    • Selection Day
    • Announcement of final teams
    • Duration of the 11-week program
  • All team members must be present in Korea for Demo Day

Post-Program Perks

  • Potential to receive further investment against equity