In this two-day hackathon, Korean startups will propose products and services that address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in India. 

Fourteen companies attending KISED's Global Startup Academy Program are participating in this event, and the top three solutions will win a cash prize. Throughout the program, the companies will be paired with mentors based in India who will help them define and refine their target customers and value proposition. In addition, the startups will also meet with industry veterans who will help them develop a practical strategy to introduce their product and scale their impact.  

This event is fully digital and will be hosted on Zoom. The startups are encouraged to propose practical implementations of their own proprietary software and services, and they will work with their mentors to refine their ideas and present them before a panel of distinguished judges.

In addition to the cash prizes, the startups that present viable solutions, and who commit to entering the Indian market, will receive follow-on help to continue developing their solution and finding customers and partners to launch in India. 

UN SDG Focus

By 2020, halve (50% less) the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

3.6.1 Death Rate due to Road Traffic Injuries

Future of road safety and SDG 3.6 goals in six Indian cities

By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

3.9.1 Mortality Rate Attributed to Ambient Air Pollution
3.9.2 Mortality Rate Attributed to Unsafe Water, Unsafe Sanitation and lack of Hygiene
3.9.3 Mortality Rate Attributed to Unintentional Poisonings

Support the research, development, and distribution of affordable vaccines and medicines for communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries.

3.b.2 Gross Disbursements of Official Development Assistance for Medical Research and Basic Health Sectors (by recipient)

Provide access to safe, affordable, and sustainable transportation systems for all, particularly for women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly.

11.2 Proposed Indicators

Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.

11.a Proposed Indicators


The program takes place on September 10th and 11th, simultaneously in India and Korea via Zoom. 

Day One: Friday, September 10, 2021

11:00–12:00 7:30–8:30


14:00–14:30 10:30–11:00

Opening Remarks and Overview of the 4 SDGs

Mr. Yong-seok Roh,
Deputy General of Ministry of SMEs and Startups

Dr. Rajan Sudesh Ratna, Economic Affairs Officer of the Trade, Investment and Innovation Division of UNESCAP

Dr. Ram Upendra Das, Head of the Centre for Regional Trade

14:30–15:00 11:00–11:30


Kanishka Agiwal, Head of Service Lines for India and South Asia at Amazon Web Services

15:00–19:30 11:30–16:00

Hackathon Begins

The startups will work together with their designated mentors in India to receive detailed feedback of the local market conditions, SDG status, and applicability of their solution.

19:30–21:00 16:00–17:30

Hackathon Continues with Office Hours

The startups and mentors in India will have a review session. The startups will share their revisions to reflect the initial feedback they received from their mentor, and the mentors in India will provide additional data, evidence, or insights they were able to collect.

The teams may attend optional office hours with expert mentors to receive additional feedback.

Day Two: Saturday, September 11, 2021

09:00–12:00 05:30–08:30

Expert Feedback and Presentation Review

The expert mentors will meet with their assigned companies to provide a 1:1 review of their presentation. They will provide feedback to each the companies to improve their proposed market entry strategy for India to prepare for final evaluation by the judges.

13:30–16:10 10:00–12:40

Final Presentations and Evaluations by Judges

Each company will present before the judges as follows:

  • 3 minutes presentation
  • 3 minutes Q&A
  • 4 minutes deliberation by the judges.
13:30–14:20 10:00–10:50

Group A

14:20–15:10 10:50–11:40

Group B

15:10–15:20 11:40–11:50 10-min break
15:20–16:10 11:50–12:40

Group C

16:10–16:30 12:40–13:00 Score tally and final deliberations to determine the top 3 presentations.
16:30–16:45 13:00–13:15 Announce Results and Close Program


The top 3 companies will receive a cash prize ranging from 1-2 Million KRW. (Approximately 1,000-2,000 USD).

Each judge will provide a score of 1-5 in each of the categories below, for a total of 25 points. With six judges attending the final presentation, each startup will have a maximum of 150 possible points.



1. Customer definition

Define the profile of the end user and the particular problem they are facing. Include some basic demographics for individuals or specific functions for larger organizations.

2. Value proposition

State a clear value proposition that indicates how the proposed product features will solve the end user’s problem. 

3. Viability

The solution must be technologically and financially practical. Can it be built using existing commercial infrastructure and is it likely to be delivered in a cost-effective manner?

4. Sustainability

Does the proposed product effectively address the stated sustainability targets directly through product or service use. (i.e., do not make a promise to donate profits to reach sustainability goals.)

5. Goals

The company should clearly state their goals to validate and deliver their solution by identifying KPI’s and their KPI targets over 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.


After the event, we will have several opportunities for the startups to continue to receive support and develop their market entry for India.

This includes:

  • Group workshop with Lighting Up Ventures to integrate judges feedback and hackathon results to create a plan of action.
  • Mentor availability for additional help.
  • Resources and opportunities provided by program sponsors. 

Please check back for more details.