What is the KSGC Program?

The KSGC is an inbound program designed to attract promising foreign startups to Korea, organized and funded by 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 Korean employees 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?
  1. 1. A startup or a pre-startup team with no more than 7 years of establishment, and whose representative has foreign nationality
  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,
  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?

You can only apply through our official website, www.k-startupgc.org. Other methods, such as applying through email, phone, mail, will not be accepted and will not be judged for the global audition.

When does the application close?

The application will be closed on 18th May. There will be no exception for the late submission and additional applications will not be accepted after the closing date.

How long is the KSGC Program? How long can I use the Global Bootcamp and its facilities?

The program will be 3.5 months long, starting from 25th July – 10th November. During this period, your team will be provided with free office space in the Global Bootcamp, Pangyo. If your team is chosen as one of the final TOP 20 teams from the Demo Day, a permit to apply an extension for the office space will be granted.

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

Each participating team shall consist of a team leader (required) and a member (optional). Only the team leader and member that are registered in the initial application, shall only be eligible to participate in the program. Other team members that are not registered cannot use the provided office space.

The participating teams must stay in Korea and devote themselves to the KSGC program during the program period. Participants must be present and at least 3 per week at the Global Bootcamp.

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

The official language in the KSGC program is English. The participateing team is required to have an English speaker. Having a Korean speaker is an option.

Does the KSGC offer a special visa?

When you are selected to participate in the KSGC program, KSGC is not responsible for obtaining proper visa to stay in Korea. KSGC will assist the participants by issuing a visa invitation letter(s), but applying to obtaining the visa is the participants responsibility. For detailed information, visit the link https://www.visa.go.kr/

During the program,
  1. 1. The KSGC, 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-10-2) and Technology and Business Startup visa (D-8-4) for the individuals of the KSGC participating teams.
  2. 2. The conditions required to obtain Business Startup visa (D-10-2) 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-10-2 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 3~5 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?

The KSGC Secretariat Office will issue an 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 who will be attending the orientation and participating in the program.

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

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 the KSGC program. However, as to date, no such instances have ever occured.

What are the benefits of participating in the KSGC program?
During the 3.5 months, the following support details shall be provided to the 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 Fund, Demo Day Prize Money, Korean Bank Account, etc)
  5. 5. Incubating facilities
  6. 6. A Korean intern working for you to support your business in Korea
When will the result be published, and how will I be notified?
  1. 1. (Application Review) 19th May – 26th
  2. 2. (Global Auditions) 30th May – 2rd June
  3. 3. (Final Result Top60) 15th June * the dates are subject to change

The applying team shall assume full responsibility for uncommunicable situations, such as inability to send and/or receive emails, no matter the reason. The applying team is also responsible to check the internet connection and transmission status, and acknowledging network defects in order to keep in touch with the KSGC Secretariat Office.

Who will help me between my acceptance and arrival to the Republic of Korea?

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

When will the KSGC Program start?

The 2023 KSGC program will start on 25th July and the participating teams must enter Korea before then

We are accepted to the KSGC Program. Can we choose our start date?

You may choose your own start date, but keep in mind that by not following the requirements and circumstances, disadvantages will be given to you which may reduce your evaluation scores for deciding the top 20 teams. We highly recommend to enter Korea at least 1 month prior to the KSGC program.

Will the seats be assigned to startups participating in the KSGC Program?

Yes, the KSGC program offers 2 regular seats and desks per team during their participation. However, members that are not registered cannot enter the premises, with the exception of short meetings(approx. less than 1 hour) with the team..

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

In general, it is not possible to change the team leader. The team leader should participate in the whole process of the KSGC program, including the additional support program after the Demo Day.
* It is not possible to change to a new team leader who is newly hired in Korea during the program.

Is there any obligation and regulations we have to abide by during the participation?
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, an incubating facility, at least 3 days per week.
  3. 3. Attendance exceptions are allowed if the participating team notifies the KSGC Secretariat in advance and approved by the KSGC Secretariat(overseas business trip, temporary leave, other reasons due to natural disasters, etc.)
  4. 4. The participating teams shall submit monthly business reports with supporting documents.
  5. 5. The teams must participate full 3.5 months of the program. If the team withdraws from the program before the Demo Day, it would be asked to return the settlement funds.
Can my startup be asked to leave during the participation?

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 tell the press about my participation in the KSGC Program?

Of course, you can. Please share the news with the KSGC Secretariat when doing so!

What is the criteria on the final evaluation of 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 provided accelerating program(s)
  4. 4. KSGC participation
  5. 5. Business model excellence and potential success in Korea
Where will the program take place?

The program will take place in Korea’s Pangyo Startup Campus, located within a walking distance of many of Korea’s top tech companies and just 14-minute subway ride away from the famous Gangnam district of Seoul.
* Address : (ZIP CODE 13488) 20, Pangyo-ro 289beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do)

How many people will be assigned to a space and how will it be set up to ensure safety for all participants during the program?

Total of around 110 to 150 people. (60 KSGC Teams, 5 Korean Accelerators, 30 Korean interns, 15 Scale-up and OIP program participants) By sterilizing fingerprint identification equipment, furnishing hand sanitizer, and making wearing a mask mandatory, we will try our best to build up the safe environment so that foreign startups could have no worries and focus on business.

Upon arrival (in Korea), will the participants be quarantined? What if the quarantine order has not been lifted by the time the program starts? What is the backup plan?

The official launching date of the program is on August 16th. All participants must come to Korea 2 weeks before the program starts. All people traveling to South Korea shall be subject to mandatory quarantine for 2 weeks, otherwise they will be refused to enter Korea. Since the KSGC program provides funds for living expenses, participants can use the money while living in the designated quarantine facility provided by KSGC program.
Useful Links:
- Instructions for Quarantine Subjects (for foreigners)
- Incheon Airport Covid 19 Responses
- Korea government's COVID 19 response system
- COVID 19 Statistics in Korea (Confirmed cases, etc) (updated daily)

How will you ensure safety measure for housing options? Will the housing be up to each participants to decide?

In general, you could use accommodation services, such as airbnb, to rent the place during the early phase. Depending on your choices, you will be able to use various types of long term housing facilities, like houses, apartments, and monthly rent, later on. You will have the KSGC program manual including living information before you come to Korea.

Is Korea safe from COVID-19?

Korea has been recognized by the world for reactions to COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, you can visit Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (http://ncov.mohw.go.kr/en/) and WHO's Corona dashboard (https://covid19.who.int/).


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