Ukrainian startup Preply that created online platform for the search of tutors was qualified for the South Korean incubator K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC). This is informed by project’s press service.
Ukrainian team entered the list of top 50 candidates and on August 16 starts out for Pangyo Techno Valley industrial complex. A total of 1,515 applications from startups from 118 countries were submitted to KSCG-2017. Accelerator has a wide profile, no limitations on scopes of startups activities. Biotechnologies, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, logistics, digital-content and much more are among the focus areas. Quality and perspective of idea are considered to be the main criterion.
KSGC portrays itself as the first step and key to complex and promising Asian market.
According to Ambient Insight, in 2017 the total income from products and services for individual online-study in Asia will reach $10.7 bln. In 2016 South Korea itself took the 4th place in the global list of countries that purchase e-learning field products on a massive scale. Other Asian countries are among top ten leaders too. Thus, China (including Hong Kong and Macau) takes the second place, fifth place – India, sixth – Japan.
“We are actively developing ourselves in the US and markets of major European countries. We thought hard what was the best way to get access to Asian markets, and I am happy to have such a chance to participate in K-Startup Grand Challenge. Part of our team is already in Seoul, and we started the work on the launch in South Korea. India, Japan and China will be the next markets,” – Kirill Bigai, CEO and co-founder of company, said.
During the acceleration program that lasts 4 months participants will have access to the office space, lectures, mentoring support in face-to-face format. Essential component of the component – coach-sessions dedicated to Korean and Asian business culture, legal aspects of doing business, patents, taxation. Moreover, organizers plan to hold networking and meetings with representatives of famous companies from South Korea.
Samsung, KIC Silicon Valley (Korea Innovation Center), Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Start-ups of South Korea are among the partners of K-Startup Grand Challenge. KSGC cooperates with five accelerators: CNT TECH, N15, Shift, SparkLabs and Venture Port. This offers significant opportunities for the members, and Demo Day in the final of the program makes it possible to made friends with a large number of investors.
KSGC teams will potentially be able to cooperate with Samsung, LG, Hyundai Motors and other well-known Asian brands.
Each of 50 KSGC participants will receive $12,000 for the accommodation during four months and $833 for participation. TOP-25 will be awarded with prizes of $27,000, in case of legal entity registration in South Korea. Four best teams will be able to receive grants amounting from $6,000 to $100,000.
Preply started its operation in April 2013. The company is managed by three founders: CEO Kirill Bigai, CTO Dmitry Voloshyn and Product Designer Sergey Lukyanov. Company operates is the US and large countries of Europe, and starts its expansion into the Asian markets
As of today, more than 100 thous. students study in the platform, services are rendered by 50 thous. teachers. Marketplace contains offers from tutors of foreign languages, school subjects and creative disciplines. Preply is a graduate of TechStars Berlin. In 2016, Preply became one of the ten Ukrainian startups participating in TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
In the same year, the Preply team closed investment round of $1.3 mln. Mariusz Gralewski (founder of DocPlanner), Przemyslaw Gacek (founder of Grupa Pracuj), Arthur Kosten (co-founder of Booking.com), Polish fund Hedgehog Fund, RTAVentures VC, Xevin Investments, Digital Future, SMRK, TechStars and others are among the investors. Moreover, Preply is in the portfolio of the famous business-angel Semen Dukach.