A structured, multi-phased approach to exploring and de-risking entry into the South Korean market

The Program

Rainmaking Expand: South Korea is a 4-month opportunity for growth stage startups & SMEs, with a Singaporean legal entity, to accelerate market entry into South Korea, focusing on business development and leveraging genuine commercial opportunities.

Sponsored by Enterprise Singapore, our Rainmaking Expand framework aims to accelerate the speed to market while de-risking market expansion through a rigorous viability assessment, curated expert guidance and targeted introductions to strong business leads.

During the program, your time will focus on ramping up for your market entry into South Korea, covering topics such as mapping, assessing and validating real commercial opportunities with the support of our in-market experts. Our goal is to drive commercial opportunity with you, and provide leads for early business development and detailed validation. This approach features two 2-month phases, focused on validating, refining and de-risking market entry into South Korea.

Applications for this program are currently open, please apply below.

Phase 1

Market Ramp-Up

8 Weeks Remote

This phase focuses on helping companies understand the South Korean market in detail, gain an understanding on how to validate their business for market entry, and to begin building networks into South Korea.

Market Discovery & Expansion Readiness

A 4-week sprint of workshops, mentoring & discovery sessions, focused on market discovery and preparations for expansion – Custom designed to meet the needs of each individual company

This sprint helps startups and SMEs to understand the South Korean market specifics and how to operate there. More broadly, companies will be briefed on expansion methodologies and experiment sprints, ensuring they are well placed to take advantage of any opportunity identified.

South Korea Customer Development Sprint Readiness

A 4-week customer development sprint based on our proven venture expansion methodology

The sprint focuses on speaking to customers and potential partners in South Korea in order to validate the desirability of a company’s solution within the South Korean market and identify potential partners within the ecosystem. This phase enables participating companies to de-risk expansion before committing significant human and financial resources.


Phase 2

Go To Market

4 Weeks Remote, 4 Weeks in South Korea

This phase will be delivered on a 1:1 basis. It focuses on designing pilot experiments, minimum viable concepts, and PoCs with customers and commercial collaborators in South Korea, as well as building connections with the South Korean investor community.

Market Validation Sprint (remote)

4-week remote validation sprint

This sprint focuses on securing commitments from target customers, commercial collaborators and investors in South Korea to engage with you while you are in South Korea. Target engagements include PoCs, pilot experiments, sales and investment pitches, and the development of minimum viable concepts tailored to the South Korean market.

Market Validation Sprint (in South Korea)

Customised 4-week expansion validation sprint in Seoul

This intense 4-week period is dedicated to designing and executing PoCs, pilots, MVCs and both commercial and investment pitches. You will be supported by Rainmaking’s Seoul-based Partnerships Lead who will provide access to a deep local network to help your business rapidly expand.

Program Timeline

The program runs on an always-on basis*. We will be accepting companies into the program every month, allowing for flexible and dynamic approaches to the South Korean market, which is inline with both your company plans and with the opportunities discovered in-market.

*Please note that this timeline is indicative and will be customised to your exact needs

Selection Process

We have a rolling selection process, which means slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. If your application passes the initial stage, you’ll be invited to an online call for a final review. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the program, and for us to better understand how we might support your expansion goals.

Application


On average, our programs attract 100+ applications. We have a rolling selection process, which means spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you are interested to join, please register your interest below.

Interview


If your application passes the initial stages, you’ll be invited to an online call for final review. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the program, and for us to better understand how we might support your expansion goals.

Phase 1


If you’re one of the companies selected for Phase 1, you’ll participate in an 8-week online sprint of workshops, mentoring & discovery sessions, focused on market discovery, customer development and preparations for expansion.

Phase 2


In Phase 2, you’ll participate in a second 8-week sprint, culminating in four weeks dedicated to designing and executing PoCs, pilots, MVCs, and commercial & investment pitches with target partners on the ground in Seoul.

Why South Korea?

Welcomes International Startups

South Korea welcomes high potential startups like yours through initiatives like the K-startup Grand Challenge and established Free Economic Zones (FEZs).

Global Innovation Hub

South Korea has produced 17 unicorns and has topped the Bloomberg Innovation Index for seven of the nine years that it has been published.

Strong Government Support

The government plays an active role in promoting and nurturing the local startup ecosystem and boasts some of the world’s most generous grant funding programs for entrepreneurs.

Growing Despite COVID-19

South Korea’s 4% growth rate in 2021 is expected to remain robust through 2022 and 2023. Under the Korean New Deal, the government is investing $133bn to accelerate the transition towards a digital and green economy.

Major Trend & Tech Testbed

Consumer trend-sensitivity and strong purchasing power makes South Korea an ideal market for global brands wanting to test and refine new products and technology, giving rise to the idea that where the “Korean-wave” goes, the rest of the world follows.

Proximity to Key Asian Markets

Located in the centre of Northeast Asia, South Korea acts as a launchpad for accessing 2 billion tech-savvy potential customers.

Costs Supported by Enterprise Singapore

Rainmaking Expand: South Korea is a program supported by Enterprise Singapore as official partner for the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA).

Singapore-based legal entities can benefit from financial support to take part in the program. If selected for the program, the majority of participation costs will be subsidised by Enterprise Singapore for Singapore-based legal entities. A small, remaining participation fee will be paid by participating companies.

8-weeks remote

You will:
Work with us to develop your
expansion strategy and roadmap

Receive end-to-end, dedicated & customised support from our South Korean team, industry experts & advisor network

Conduct exploratory conversations with
potential customers and collaborators

8-weeks, 4-weeks remote + 4-weeks in South Korea*

You will:
Work with us to execute
your entry strategy

Open focused business conversations with potential customers and collaborators in South Korea
 
Concentrate on securing new customers and pilot opportunities with commercial collaborators

*subject to prevailing conditions & travel restrictions. Travel costs (flights, accommodation, etc) are not included.

S$ 8,736 per Company

After Enterprise Singapore’s subsidy

Testimonials

CRUST

CRUST joined one of our programs for entering Japan. Through the program, they were able to gain deep knowledge of the Japanese market and successfully entered the Japanese market by opening their own Japan office and creating new upcycled products by collaborating with local players.

It was a difficult but great experience. Really an eye opener. Made me realize that there was so much I needed to learn. But learning and working alongside companies in Japan, helped us understand the Japan market more and made us more prepared than before.

— Travin Singth, Founder & CEO, CRUST

Innoyard

Innoyard joined one of our programs in South Korea. During the program they were able to refine their product positioning, helping them to successfully open their very first sales centre, and secure MOUs with leading local hospitals thereby expanding their customer base.

I definitely was able to broaden my horizons as a CEO by participating in the program. More specifically, I learned to position my product, how to market it, and find product-market-fit. I am thankful for the team’s honest feedback because honest feedback is always difficult to give.

— Jang Seon-bin, CEO, Innoyard

Powered By

Rainmaking is one the world’s most prolific corporate innovation and new venture building studios. We are a global team of over 200 that creates, accelerates, and scales new businesses with the world’s leading corporations and entrepreneurs across 13 offices on 4 continents.

Since 2010, we have run our accelerator programs under the Startupbootcamp (SBC) brand. We are now a global family of 20+ accelerator programs running +90 cycles in partnership with 200+ industry partners across various sectors.

Rainmaking Expand: South Korea has been launched with the support of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), as one of the programs under the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA). GIA is a joint initiative between ESG and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) which aims to connect Singaporean startups & SMEs to major innovation hubs around the world, so as to support their overseas expansion plans.

Apply Now

Applications to this program are open on a rolling basis. If you are interested in joining this program, please apply using the form below.

If you are having trouble viewing the form, please access it here.

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