To support early-stage startups and expand the event's global presence, this year's batch will be the largest yet, with 150 teams participating.
The COMEUP Stars program consists of three leagues: Rookie League, which has expanded to 100 teams; Academy League, a newly created category to promote entrepreneurship on campus; and Rocket League, where 20 established teams will share the factors behind their growth.
This year's main event, the COMEUP 100, will pit the 100 Rookie League teams against each other in a knockout competition. A qualifying round at the end of August will determine the top 40 teams to pitch to a global audience at COMEUP 2023.
Mentorship is another key benefit of the COMEUP 100 experience, with ten venture capital (VC) firms partnering with selected startups to provide hands-on guidance and access to new networks.
COMEUP 2023 will feature both startup pitches and VC-led acceleration.
The top 40 teams will receive differentiated benefits, including 1:1 mentoring with VCs, on-site booths, and invitations to private networking events.
In addition, teams with exceptional pitch performances will receive business expansion opportunities in Europe (sponsored by the Embassy of Belgium), discounts at DREAMPLUS coworking spaces, and more.
The remaining 60 teams will receive mentoring from VCs and exclusive access to business matching at COMEUP 2023.
Academy League finalists will pitch their companies at the main event and receive 1:1 mentoring from prominent investors and access to private networking events.
Applications are open from May 1 to July 2. Finalists will be announced on July 3 after a thorough evaluation process.
Sungjin Choi, CEO of Korea Startup Forum, said that the COMEUP Stars 2023 program aimed to authenticate the selected startups by involving more global players and pledged to prepare a comprehensive evaluation system to identify teams with tremendous potential on a worldwide scale.