The K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC) is the main Korean government program dedicated to foreign startups. Active since 2016, over 7.400 international startups have applied to be part of the program, despite the program being notoriously selective, with less than 1% of startups selected to participate. The initiative is organized by the National IT Promotion Agency and funded by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups of South Korea. 

 

Each year, KSGC promotes the program in order to attract the most promising and competitive startups. For the 2020 edition, it faced a unique challenge – how do you convince startups to apply in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and, furthermore, convince them to travel to Korea? 

 

In order to build trust with its target audience and boost conversation rate on its geo-targeted online campaigns, KSGC used TPS Engage to buy targeted hourly slots in key locations as part of a pilot project. In order to accurately track the impact of the targeted campaign, it was deployed exclusively in CEE.

The content that ran on the screens was an adapted version of the video running on social media, targeting locations such as subway stations near startup hubs, as well as outdoor screens in both countries near key corporate offices. 

In order to optimise the investment, the ads only ran at key hours, maximising exposure and efficiency while keeping the budget under control. 

 

The objective of the campaign was laser focused – attracting startups to apply to be part of the project. Despite the challenging COVID-19 context, the KSGC pilot project delivered outstanding results, with an average 340% more startups applying from the two countries compared to previous years. 

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