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Startup competition draws innovative ideas from ASEAN, Korean youths

The ASEAN-Korea Center, working in partnership with the Science and Technology Policy Institute, Seoul Metropolitan Government and Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation, is welcoming innovative ideas for entrepreneurship as part of the inaugural ASEAN-Korea Startup Idea Competition from Aug. 10 through Sept. 10.

Applicants -- either individually or in groups of up to three -- can submit creative ideas for improving the lives of people from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Korea. Each team or individual can fill out an online application form and upload presentation slides with business plans, alongside a three-minute video showing a startup scheme, via the website, which will remain open through Sept. 10.

The business plan and three-minute video should contain information on conceived products, services or technologies that can be used to solve problems facing Southeast Asia and Korea. Considerations should cover the problem and solution, target consumers and benefits, among other factors.

Ideas that are already commercialized cannot be submitted, and an individual or team applicant is barred from submitting multiple entries. The top six finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges and notified individually.

“As Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned during his state visit to Singapore in July, startups are considered one of the key areas of cooperation between ASEAN and Korea,” said Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Center Lee Hyuk. “It is important to encourage our youths to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and invest in them for commercialization. To this end, the ASEAN-Korea Center has organized the ‘ASEAN-Korea Youth Forum’ since 2014 under the theme of entrepreneurship.”

The Startup Idea Competition was launched this year as part of the forum, he added, with the intention of offering tangible and practical support to future entrepreneurs.

Finalists will be offered round-trip tickets between ASEAN and Korea -- sponsored by Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Foundation -- to participate in the 2018 ASEAN-Korea Youth Innovation Forum in Seoul on Nov. 12. The event will gather government and public sector officials, private investors and accelerators. The top three winners will be awarded $1,000, $800 and $500, respectively.

By Joel Lee (
Korea Herald Youtube