The Ministry of Science and ICT (Minister Choi Ki-young) announced 15 companies that were finally selected for the Global ICT Future Unicorn Promotion Project (ICT GROWTH Project) in 2020.
The Global ICT Future Unicorn Promotion Project (ICT GROWTH) is a project to discover promising companies in ICT (Information Communication Technology) with high global growth potential and foster them as future unicorn companies (in 2025, 50 companies) through comprehensive support such as overseas advancement and provision of funds (investment and loans).
A total of 138 companies applied for this year’s contest, recording a competition rate of 9.2: 1, and 15 companies were finally selected by comprehensively evaluating technology level and marketability, international capabilities, and plans to return to the domestic startup ecosystem.
Innovative companies in information and communication technology (ICT) such as “Masfresso,” an artificial intelligence-based math problem-solving company, “One-Predict,” which predicts and analyzes the risk of failure of industrial facilities, and “Open Edge Technology,” an AI-based semiconductor design asset (IP) company, were selected as supporting companies for the global ICT future unicorn development project (ICT GROWTH) in recognition of their global growth potential and excellent technology.
The selected companies will receive credit guarantees, investment inducement links, overseas advancement acceleration, performance guarantees, and legal advice in the form of packages through public-private partnerships with related agencies such as the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Korea Information and Communication Industry Promotion Agency, the Korea Telecommunications Business Association, the Bonto Global Center and Seoul Guarantee Insurance.
It will receive up to 10 billion won in credit guarantee support over three years from the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, and will also get opportunities to attract investment from venture capital (VC) through the Korea ICT Fund (KIF) created by the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association.
In addition, the B2G Boot Camp (B2G, e-commerce between companies and governments) provides eight weeks of ‘B2G Boot Camp’ and product-market Fit consultations (PMF) to strengthen its pre-competition capabilities for overseas advancement, while the IT Promotion Agency’s overseas hub (KIC Silicon Valley in the U.S. and IT Support Center in Singapore) provides a platform for child care and mentoring by local experts.
In addition, a variety of intensive support will be provided, including SGI Seoul Guarantee Co.’s guarantee insurance support and ICT Legal Advisory Group’s legal advisory services.
Jang Seok-young, the second vice minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, said, “The spread of Corona 19 has dampened the recent funding and overseas expansion,” and added, “The government will actively support ICT companies with high growth potential to turn crises into opportunities in the post-Corona era and become unicorn companies in the global market.”