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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

Top 20 Startup Accelerators & Incubators in South Korea

The South Korean startup environment is continuously gaining momentum. With the presence of the world's largest corporate brands centered in its capital and engaged in its startup ecosystem, the country has succeeded in establishing itself as a technological hub. As one of the top-connected countries with the fastest internet speed and high smartphone penetration, Koreans are also very tech-savvy and oftentimes early adopters of new and innovative technologies. As a result, the Korean startup ecosystem is highly promising, with a number of startups growing and expanding their influence in the market. If you're thinking of entering the Korean startup scene, you might want to consider joining a startup accelerator or incubator in South Korea.


In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all incubator and accelerator programs in South Korea, along with a short overview to help you find a suitable program. The incubators and accelerators in this list have been subdivided into applicability for startups in their 'ideation', 'launch', or 'growth' stages.






accelerators and incubators in South Korea
accelerators and incubators in South Korea

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FULL LIST OF STARTUP INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS IN SOUTH KOREA



Ideation Stage Startup Incubators in South Korea


Full list of ideation-stage startup incubators in South Korea:




  • Who is it for: Aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea and seeking cofounder / Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Food

  • Application Link


WECOOK is Korea's first shared kitchen facility as well as a food startup incubator. They offer 2 startup programs: Wecook Restart and Next Foodicon 2. The Wecook Restart program is designed for food manufacturers that are seeking to alter or grow their business in the F&B industry. Through the program, WeCook's product planning professionals will work with you to turn your original idea (recipe) into a marketable product. The Next Foodicon 2 is an initiative established jointly by GS Retail, Wecook, and Open the Table to commercialize dishes from local restaurants and small business teams. The 16-week product development program will provide startups with opportunities to collaborate with GS distribution channels.



  • Who is it for: Aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea and seeking cofounder / Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


KUBS Startup Station is Korea University Business School's startup platform that supports young entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to fulfill their ambitions in entrepreneurship. They provide a variety of startup assistance programs through the Iljin Startup Center, as well as startup education through the Seung Myeong-ho Entrepreneurship Education Center. They also provide an incubator space along with structured training and startup support activities.



  • Who is it for: Aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea and seeking cofounder / Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic, Manufacturing Parts and Materials, Advanced Technology, Agriculture, Education, Content, Beauty

  • Application Link


Active since 2000, Krypton is one of Korea's longest-running startup incubator/accelerator. They offer two startup programs: tenancy and education. The 'Cluster' tenancy program is an incubator space where aspiring entrepreneurs or early teams can apply to move in and build the foundations of their businesses. Its education program, 'Crypton 36,' is a hands-on start-up school that educates students on all aspects of entrepreneurship and successful start-ups. Through the 10-week program, startups will learn a curriculum comprising of fundamental entrepreneurial themes such as entrepreneurship, team building, funding, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) building, and more.





Launch Stage Startup Incubators and Accelerators in South Korea


Full list of launch stage startup incubators and accelerators in South Korea:




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


K Startup is one of the biggest startup portals in Korea where you may access a diverse range of support services related to startups operating in various sectors. For instance, you can find pre-entrepreneurship programs that provide mentorship, startup education, and early capital to prospective entrepreneurs with new inventions. They also offer specialized initiatives for promising early-stage startups with support for technology innovation and growth through funding and mentorship.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Hardware

  • Application Link


Actner Lab is a startup accelerator focusing on the hardware market in Korea. Their industry-focused program is built in collaboration with Silicon Valley's Lab IX to support Korea's best startups from their early foundations to their successful internationalization. Through ActnerLab, startups are provided with a comprehensive startup education curriculum, quick prototyping services, mentoring, development tools, and test beds from industry-leading companies and universities. They also provide seed funding of USD 20,000 to USD 100,000 in return for 5-10% equity.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Internet, Mobile, e-commerce, Online Gaming, Digital Media, Healthcare Fintech

  • Application Link


SparksLabs is a global startup accelerator originating from Korea, with its founders being seasoned entrepreneurs who have created businesses in Korea and the United States. They used their expertise to build the SparkLabs mentorship-driven accelerator program, a 16-week program for seed to early-stage entrepreneurs with global expansion potential. Each business will be paired with 4 to 6 mentors who will take part in weekly teaching sessions where startups may learn from and network with prominent Korean and international entrepreneurs. As part of the program, SparkLabs will invest up to $100,000 in each firm in return for up to 6% equity.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Mobile, Cyber Security, Internet, IoT, Robotics, Medical, E-commerce, Telecom

  • Application Link


KOISRA Seed Partners is a seed fund and accelerator in Korea with a unique proposition: they focus on turning Korean businesses into worldwide market leaders through the mentoring and networks of Israeli entrepreneurs. Seeing the comparable markets in Korea and Israel, they use the startup nation's know-hows to assist Korean startups in growing internationally. The main draw of the program is the mentorship from a pool of experienced Israeli entrepreneurs, as well as office space and up to KRW 30,000,000 in early financing.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Mobile / Internet Services, Software, Hardware and Software Convergence, Healthcare

  • Application Link


With the goal of assisting young entrepreneurs in succeeding, Primer offers an acceleration program that will deliver and recreate the DNA of senior entrepreneurs to junior creators. The program offers mentorship and education that will assist startups in navigating their company directions, setting up their KPIs, optimizing their marketing strategies, supporting their overseas market entry, and attracting follow-on investments through Primer's networks.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Google for Startups Korea is an accelerator program for Pre-Series A to Series A Korean startups that utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence in their products, which are made available on the Google Play Store. Through the 10-week program, startups will participate in deep dives and seminars focusing on product design, customer acquisition, and founders' leadership development, led by Google's industry experts and teams. Furthermore, startups may receive technical project assistance and potential partnership on advanced technology projects, as well as the potential to get the app featured in the Google Play Store.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Application Link


TIPS is an investment-driven tech incubator/accelerator program for startups aimed to find and develop the most game-changing technology startups. In collaboration with partners and the government, the program will assist startups in entering the global marketplace by providing incubation services, mentoring/professional assistance, access to networks, and funding for R&D.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Seoul Techno Holdings is established with the goal to support the commercialization of Seoul National University's technologies and research through investments, incubation programs, and startup competitions. To vitalize educational-industrial cooperation, the program will help connect startups with the wider ecosystem of leading universities and entrepreneurship centers and mediate tech transfers and commercialization.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team / Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Blockchain, Healthcare, AI, Big Data

  • Application Link


Dreamplus is a unique Open Innovation platform that offers opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs with big ambitions to build synergies and promote a virtuous cycle of sustainable innovation. They encourage cooperation, innovation, and growth among startup ecosystem participants, functioning as a business facilitator through connections between members. Within their venture studio, they facilitate a number of startup activities, including monthly encounters between startups and related professionals, proof-of-concept opportunities, annual pitching events, and more.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team / Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Deep Tech for Sustainability, AI, Healthcare, AgTech

  • Application Link


Bigbang Angels, Inc is a hybrid VC accelerator that provides a variety of programs for startups at different stages, including the Unicorn Finder Bootcamp, Launchpad, and Basecamp. The Unicorn Finder Bootcamp offers seed-stage startups with 1:1 mentorship as well as USD 10,000 in funding. The Unicorn Finder Launchpad is a program for entrepreneurs looking to expand into overseas markets, notably the massive markets of Singapore and Canada. It is a three-month program that includes strategic counsel, market research studies, 1:1 mentorship, and meetings with worldwide investors. Finally, the Unicorn Basecamp program looks at the prospect of targeting the Korean-based market for global enterprises looking to join the Asian market.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: FinTech

  • Application Link


Entirely funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Fintech Lab offers incubation and acceleration programs for fintech startups, as well as office space of up to 3 years. They offer a range of personalized startup support programs that offer startups with customized mentorship and business growth plans in order for them to successfully scale up and attract funding. This includes services such as Fin-Academy, their professional training center from industry experts, and Fin-Mentor, one-on-one consultations with corporations and specialists in each subject. They also facilitate interaction and collaboration with local and international financial institutions, enterprises, and universities through Fin-Network, and facilitate demo days through Fin-Demo. Finally, Fin-Global assists startups in entering overseas markets through their overseas networks and dedicated coaching.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: ImpactTech

  • Application Link


StartupX is a global accelerator focusing on early-stage discovery of breakthrough impact tech startups. The program assists startups in worldwide growth via mentorship by mentors from China, the United States, and other nations. They provide a variety of startup programs and challenges, as well as the StartupX School, an online startup training program that covers important business foundation concepts.




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Media & Content, Smart Manufacturing, Circulation (O2O, Fintech, Blockchain, Food tech), Bio (Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare), ICT

  • Application Link



Gold Arc is a global scale-up Accelerator that helps entrepreneurs grow so that they may successfully overcome the valley of death. Understanding that the lack of consistent growth is the breaking point for most early-stage businesses, their method focuses on building startups' core competencies, developing a virtuous cycle of venture funding, and leveraging multiple media channels to achieve considerable development of the firm. They also encourage collaboration among platforms, specialists, media, major businesses, investors, and governmental institutions in order to develop a growth platform on which early start-ups may build core competencies and prosper in a scale-up environment.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Social Impact

  • Application Link


Soopong is an impact capital and accelerator that targets entrepreneurs tackling social challenges. They invest in and accelerate early-stage startup teams with the potential to scale quickly and solve social problems, with a particular emphasis on achieving sustainability and scalability through innovation in the manufacturing, consumption, and distribution stages. Their tailored assistance package will enable businesses to connect with key networks and resources, as well as acquire follow-up financing.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Application Link


Pacemakers aim to promote diversity via innovation, boosting businesses by providing technology, space, networking, content, and more. Through its flagship EDGE Platform, they provide a variety of startup programs. The EDGE initiative, which stands for Entrepreneur Development Global Expansion, is intended to bring together international networks and stimulate startup growth and exchange. They arrange expert mentorship sessions where founders may learn about entrepreneurship, business structure and market, and pitching skills, as well as planning and strategizing for fundraising and investor relations.





Growth Stage Startup Accelerators in South Korea


Full list of growth-stage startup accelerators in South Korea:




  • Who is it for: Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, IoT, Contactless, Auto Tech, VR/AR/MR, Smart City, Health, Semiconductor, Green, 3D Printing, Blockchain, Fintech, Information Security, e-commerce, O2O, Logistic, Media, Networking, Robotics, Aviation, Tourism

  • Application Link


The K-Startup Grand Challenge is an initiative created and supported by the Republic of Korea's Ministry of SMEs and Startups to recruit promising international businesses to Korea. The program's goal is to help potential foreign entrepreneurs join the Korean and worldwide markets, using Korea as a stepping stone and showcasing Korea as the world's top startup business hub. The top 60 ranked teams from the competition will participate in the 3.5-month acceleration program, with a further top 30 startups may participate in Demo Days and receiving financial incentives and government support to launch their businesses in Asia.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Shinhan Future's Lab is a startup accelerator program initiated by Shinhan, a bank and financial services provider in Korea. Introduced initially in the financial industry in 2015, they have now expanded their operations to support the scale-up of Korean startups across various sectors. They provide a comprehensive assistance package for startups to efficiently enhance startup capacities through three-lifetime membership packages, segmented into Lead, Build, and Connect based on the size and circumstances of the business. Shinhan Financial Group's primary group firms, including banks, credit cards, financial investment, life, and financial ICT (DS), participate as mentor companies in Shinhan Future's Lab to engage with nurturing companies and the provision of capital investments.










Closing Thoughts on Startup Incubators and Accelerators in South Korea


Known as a hub for the music, fashion, beauty, gaming, and blockchain industries, South Korea is an important and key market in the Asian region. The government is keen to further South Korea's influence in the global market and establish itself as a prime innovation hub, offering a number of incentives for entrepreneurs to participate actively in startup activities. Korea's startup atmosphere is friendly to both local and foreign startups, making the country a viable new market for businesses aiming to expand into Asia.




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