The Ministry of SMEs and Startups is set to hold the nation’s largest startup competition, Challenge! K-Startup to select and reward startups with promising business ideas, during the Come Up 2020 period, officials said Thursday.
The startup competition is held as a special event of Come Up 2020, which is one of Korea’s biggest startup conferences and is scheduled to take place online and offline at Dongdaemun Design Plaza from Nov. 19 to 21.
Final startup founders will be selected and rewarded through a preliminary round with each ministry and three additional rounds of matches.
From 2020, the number of participating ministries for the competition has expanded from four to seven, and local governments and the private sector will also participate.
The total prize money is 1.58 billion won ($1.41 million). The ministries include those for small and medium-sized enterprises, education, science, defense, gender equality and intellectual property. The participating companies include Asan Nanum Foundation, Naver D2 and D.Camp.
The final 20 teams were selected through each ministry’s preliminary rounds and finals, and the rankings of 10 preliminary startup league teams and 10 startup league teams are scheduled to be decided at the final match on Nov. 20.
The top honor last year went to CEO Shin Ki-young of Designovel, a data-based fashion technology company. The company provides various solutions with technology to fashion companies.
Designovel brings technologies of search, recommendation and design generation for companies to create design by providing archived data and artificial intelligence.
Since winning the competition, Designovel has teamed up with giant fashion houses such as E-land in launching new designs.
The firm’s revenue increased from 30 million won in 2019 to 700 million won this year.
Come Up 2020 will be joined by 114 prominent people leading the ecosystem of startups at home and abroad as speakers and debaters.
Compared to last year’s event, the event period was extended to three days from two, the number of invited speakers and debaters increased to 114 from 62 and the number of speakers and debaters also rose from nine to 36.
By Shin Ji-hye and Lee Kwon-hyoung