Korea will host an all expenses paid acceleration program for 40 high-potential startups from around the world this autumn. The first of its kind in Asia, the program is sponsored by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, which was created in 2013, as part of President Park Geun-hye’s initiative to transform Korea’s economy.

Startups selected for the acceleration program, known as the K-Startup Grand Challenge, will receive $4,100 per month to cover living expenses, along with free round-trip flights to Korea for three team members.

The government will further provide them with offices and lab space in its $160 million Startup Campus in Pangyo. The campus is within walking distance to the R&D labs of many Korean tech giants, which have signed on to mentor the startups.

The Korean government is sponsoring this program to help entice promising foreign startups to establish their Asian foothold in Korea. Ultimately, this will help boost the Korean economy, bringing in creative ideas, new technologies and new jobs.

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Process

Based on online applications, representatives from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA<) and four accelerators, will select 160 startups to participate in pitch competitions that will be held online and in cities around the world.

Judges will narrow the field to 80 startups, each of which will send a representative to Korea for an intensive week of pitching and interviews from August 8 to 15. They will also have opportunities to network with Korean startups, major companies and investors, while experiencing the world’s most technologically advanced country.

The most promising 40 startups will be invited to stay for the three-month acceleration program, led by SparkLabs, DEV Korea, Shift and ActnerLab, four of Korea’s most successful accelerators.

Applications will remain open to startups across a broad range of industries through June 14. Startups can apply and find more information at http://www.k-startupgc.org