ASEAN, Korea team up to nurture homegrown IT startups

The ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) together with the Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (GCCEI) have selected 22 startups from 10 ASEAN Member States and Korea to participate in the final round of the ‘ASEAN-Korea Startup Week: Online Challenge. The event is scheduled to take place on 2-3 December 2020.

Already in its third year, the ASEAN-Korea Startup Week is designed to support both ASEAN and Korean

startups in attracting greater investment and expanding their foothold within their regions. Since 2018, the event has been sponsored by the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups. This year, the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) has also extended its partnership to the programme. ACCMSME is an organising committee under the ASEAN Secretariat, composed of high-level representatives from 10 ASEAN Member States to discuss policies related to SMEs in the region.

Next week’s event will invite early-stage startups, seeking to attract seed funding, in ICT sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, E-commerce, Fintech, Agricultural Machinery Service Platform, and Logistics & Transport Platform.

During the two-day online event, startups will pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists from Korea and abroad, and four top finalists will be awarded with prizes. All activities will be live-streamed on the ASEAN-Korea Centre’s Youtube channel (

On 2 December, the ASEAN-Korea Startup Week will begin with the opening ceremony with remarks from the AKC, GCCEI and the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups. Due to travel restrictions and enhanced social distancing measures in Seoul, other participants will join the programme online.

After the opening session, there will be a panel discussion featuring four panelists from Covent XL Partners, NX NIVEA Accelerator, SK Bioscience and IZY, an Indonesian startup. In the discussion they will share the current status of the Korean startup ecosystem and the experiences of ASEAN startups entering into Korea. After two days of pitching, the event will close on 3 December, with an award ceremony in the afternoon.

AKC Secretary General Lee Hyuk noted that “ASEAN today is known as the breeding ground for startups and is already home to nine unicorns. As COVID19 ushers in a contactless world, the ASEAN region is witnessing a surge in investments in its home-grown startups.’’

“In the second quarter of this year, the amount invested in ASEAN startups increased by 91%, as compared to the same period of last year, and the transaction volume also increased by 59%. Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, I hope that this event will serve as an opportune platform to expand cooperation and seek new business opportunities between ASEAN and Korean startups,” he concluded.

Further details on the participating startups can be found on the website (, where online business meetings can also be pre-registered.

Programme Inquiries: Kim Hye-ji, Senior Officer, TIU (02-2287-1127,

Press Inquiries: Hwang Ji-seon, Senior PR Officer, IDU (02-2287-1149,