The Ministry of SMEs and Startups(MSS) has announced plans to support the startups participating in the Tech Incubator Program For Startup or TIPS in 2019.
TIPS was created in 2013 with the aim of nurturing budding startups with innovative technologies. In the program, private sector partners select the most promising startups who will be supported by their investment and the government’s R&D fund as well as potentially angel investors.
According to the newly released plans, the MSS will select 250 startups this year and nurture them to become global leaders with the TIPS partners. The government has earmarked KRW 145.4 billion for the program.
This year, the program focuses on discovering and fostering the most innovative startups, in particular, the ones who are driving open innovation and the 4th industrial revolution. Therefore, the accelerators and startups that have joined the open innovation network (OIN), the ones operating in the areas closely related to the 4th industrial revolution, notably AI and VR, and the startups located in non-metropolitan areas will be considered more favorably for TIPS, in order to promote investment in highly innovative technologies and invigorate startup activities in rural areas.
On the other hand, the ministry has improved the selection process and strengthened support so that the startups who are accepted into the program could concentrate on R&D and commercialization. The evaluation process, which used to be conducted separately on R&D and commercialization, has been simplified and candidates can now apply for up to 3 projects at the same time. Also, the selection process has been streamlined by integrating the application and evaluation forms and reducing the number of evaluation, documentary requirements and thus the administrative burden on startups. In addition, those chosen for the program are eligible for all support offered by TIPS regardless of the benefits they get from other startup programs of the government.
Also, the minimum investment to be made by private sector partners in case of fund-type investment has been increased up to KRW 200 million, giving the private sector more responsibility. Meanwhile, the ministry will hold a briefing session on February 21 at the TIPS Town for those who want to participate in the program.