LICORN takes off with entrepreneurial small businesses from across the country
The LICORN Nurturing Final Pitching Competition, which aims to grow entrepreneurial small businesses with creative ideas into LICORN, kicked off on 4 October.
LICORN(‘라이콘’) stands for ‘Lifestyle & Local Innovation Unicorn’, a company that aims to grow into a unicorn by innovating in the lifestyle and local sectors.
The ‘LICORN Fostering Final Pitching Competition’, which will be held at IVEX STUDIO in Gwangmyeong for three days until the 6th (Friday), aims to select small businesses that provide differentiated value (services and products) under the slogan ‘Korea’s new startups, the future of small businesses’ and foster them as ‘LICORN’.
In June, 4,355 small business owners applied for the first audition, and 105 teams were selected (41.5:1 competition ratio) to receive up to $44,000 (KRW 60 million) in business model improvement funds.
The final 34 teams selected for the Final Pitch will receive up to an additional $30,000 (KRW 40 million) in commercialisation funding for scale-up.
In addition to the main pitching competition, the event will also include a product exhibition, investment IR, competition and livecommerce, as well as a policy briefing on promoting LICORNs for young merchants in traditional markets and the general public who are potential LICORNs.
“This event is an opportunity for LICORN companies, which will be the new growth engine of Korea, to prove their growth potential,” said Young Lee, Minister of SMEs and Startups. “The Ministry of SMEs and Startups will make the LICORN project fully operational so that small businesses that innovate and strive for growth can grow into global lifestyle companies and local brands that revitalise the region.
“Unicorns started in Silicon Valley, but LICORN started in Korea and will go global,” said Minister Lee. We will support and join the founders in all their challenges.