Techstars Korea Accelerator to Support the Korean Startup Ecosystem

Techstars, a startup accelerator has launched Techstars Korea Accelerator this year. Techstars has been looking to accelerate its global expansion efforts and thanks to its $42 million investment lead by SVB Financial Group. In addition, Techstars has 49 accelerator programs in 35 cities in 16 countries with South Korea being one of them. Therefore, they partnered with Hillstone Partners (startup consulting firm) to create Techstars Korea Accelerator. The program will focus on supporting the Korean startup ecosystem. Applications have closed and the program itself will run from June 8th – September 3rd, 2020, September 3rd being the Demo Day. It makes sense for Techstars to launch a startup accelerator in Korea because Korea has become one of the top startup hubs in Asia.

The Techstars Korea Accelerator Program

Techstars Korea AcceleatorThe accelerator program will be a 3-month mentorship-driven accelerator program. Techstars Korea will select 10 startups per year. They will focus on startups that focus on digital and tech innovations across many verticals. In addition, the program will take place at Pangyo Techno Valley which is a tech and innovation hub located in Pangyo (30 minutes South of Seoul).

“Korea’s booming startup sector and Pangyo’s thriving tech ecosystem are the perfect ingredients for this accelerator program. This is a very exciting move for Techstars, considering Korea’s access to other major Asian markets, the country’s massive internal market, and the public and private sector’s interest in mobilizing the tech industry,” said Will Robinson, Vice President Asia Pacific Sales at Techstars.

The mentorship-driven accelerator program will have some of the top mentors in Korea. Therefore, make sure to check in often as they grow their mentors. Some of them include:

Jong Yoon Kim – Yanolja

Jong Yoon Kim Techstars KoreaJong Yoon Kim is the CEO of the Online Business & Corporate Strategy at Yanolja. Yanolja is the biggest online leisure and accommodation booking platform in Korea. It is also the only travel startup to gain unicorn status in Korea. Furthermore, before joining Yanolja, Jong Yoon Kim worked as a team lead of online sales and operations at Google and was a digitization expert at McKinsey & Company.

James Jung – beSUCCESS

Techstars Korea MentorJames Jung is the founder of beSUCCESS which offers multiple media platforms to introduce the startup ecosystem in Asia. He is also an ambassador for MITA (Malta Information Technology Agency) Innovation HUB where he connects the startup communities in Korea with acceleration, funding, and regulatory opportunities provided by the government of Malta. In addition, he is also the Seoul Chapter Leader for Government Blockchain Association and an anchor sponsor for Blockchain for Impact in New York.

Nathan Millard – G3 Partners

nathanNathan Millard is the founder and CEO of G3 Partners. He helps Korean startups with cross-border business consulting. He has lived in Asia for over 15 years and started working with startups in 2012. In 2015, he founded G3 partners out of a co-working space in Seoul. Furthermore, G3 Partners is now one of the fastest-growing marketing and PR agency in Korea.

Just to name a few…

Eunse Lee Named Managing Director at Techstars Korea

Eunse LeeTechstars named Eunse Lee the Managing Director of Techstars Korea Accelerator. He was previously the Founding Managing Partner at ELEVEN:ZULU Capital in Los Angeles. As well as the Managing Director of BEYOND STARTUPS, a startup incubator in Seoul.

Techstars Korea is open to startups in any tech vertical.

“The Korean startup ecosystem is extremely active and is also very firmly supported by the Government of Korea. A major benefit as they provide investment and resources to founders building solutions within the country. Korea also has a large pool of talent that is expanding. As well as a culture that has moved on from valuing working for large institutions, now wanting to work for the “next Google” or create the next big tech company. All of these factors will contribute to a ripe environment for our recruiting efforts,” said Eunse Lee, Managing Director at Techstars Korea.

Techstars in Korea

Techstars started out as a single accelerator program for early-stage startups back in 2006. Now they are all around the world and have hundreds of employees and close to 2,000 portfolio companies. As they enter Korea they are looking to bring a culture of entrepreneurship and their massive network to help entrepreneurs in Korea succeed. The massive network of Techstars is what separates Techstars from other accelerator programs in Korea. They have the connections to help Korean startups expand into the global market. In addition, they help startups connect with large corporations and vice versa. Techstars does a great job of leveraging startups and corporations together to improve both.

Techstars Corporate Accelerators

It is only a matter of time before Techstars partners with a corporate company in Korea to create a corporate-backed accelerator. They have done this with global corporations like Comcast, Barclays, MetLife, and more. Each corporate accelerator has its own vertical and they help startups within that vertical succeed. Therefore it will be interesting to see which corporation in Korea, Techstars partners up with. For now, their focus will be on the first batch for the Techstars Korea Accelerator.