Startups in life sciences and biotech are invited to apply for the Grants4Apps program. Source: Shutterstock

Grants4Apps program opens for Korean tech startups

THE SECOND round of Korea’s Grants4Apps program was opened for applications on Monday.

The scheme, which is run by Beyer Korea and KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) will be of interest to a number of business categories, including so-called smart farming.

The program is open to all tech startups whose products or business models can positively benefit the life sciences, veterinary care, agriculture and human medicine.

Last year’s winners of the awards were RecensMedical (developers of a handheld anesthetic device), GomiLabs (a pet care concern) and Sky Labs, who manufacture a ring-like device which monitors the wearer’s health.

Successful applicants to the program will be offered intensive business consultation and support from Beyer & KOTRA, and free space in Beyer Korea’s office in Seoul.

The hothousing period of 14 weeks takes place between April and July and includes a demonstration day for the successful companies to showcase their products to potential investors, members of the press and interested parties.

More details for applicants can be found here and completed forms and supporting documentation should be sent to The closing date is March 4.

“I am pleased that Grants4Apps Korea is open for the second round with the aim of contributing to innovation and development of the domestic life science industry,” Bayer Korea President Ingrid Drechsel said. “Bayer will share with startups its practical expertise and know-how on R&D, clinical trials, approval, marketing and market entry strategies, in the hope they will grow further and achieve win-win outcomes with Bayer as good business partners.”

KOTRA Executive Vice President Kim Doo-young said: “All startups in the first round last year achieved significant growth in terms of job creation and investment. We will continue to support the establishment of world-leading startups based on demand for open innovation from global companies, including Bayer.”

KOTRA funds a range of activities, including Invest KOREA, which aims to support foreign-invested companies wishing to export to Korea or otherwise trade.

Previous beneficiaries range from global food giant Nestlé right down to DoggyMan, whose premium pet foods are a Japanese import. The recent economic slowdown has not affected the Korean obsession with their pampered pets, according to Yuichi Hayashi, the son of DoggyMan’s original founder.

“People in Korea see pets as part of their family and we’re making sure that we continue to make safe, high-quality products for our local customers.”

Applicants to Grants4Apps may do well to take note!