Samsung Electronics Co. will foster 500 startups over the next five years. This is part of its plans announced in August to revitalize the economy and create jobs. With six years of experience in operating Creative Lab (C-Lab), an in-house startup incubator program, the company aims to seek out innovative future entrepreneurs and strengthen the domestic startup ecosystem.
Samsung plans to nurture 300 startups created by outsiders and 200 by its employees. The company, which has developed its venture ability inside, is now expanding its horizons to the outside.
Lee Jae-il, vice president of Samsung Electronics' Creativity & Innovation Center, said, “We will nurture startups by expanding the C-Lab program to our society and provide startups that can cooperate with Samsung Electronics with a partnership opportunity. We will help young entrepreneur-to-be proactively participate in the program and spread a culture in which anyone can start business.”
Samsung Electronics has selected 15 outsider startups to be supported this year and expanded support targets from the existing mobile to the whole IT technology sector on the same day. In addition, the company has included startups that have existed for two to three years, future entrepreneur only with innovative ideas and new startups that have existed for less than one year in the subject of the incubator program.
Out of the 331 startups that applied for the program, 15 outsider startups have been chosen in various areas, such as artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), fintech, robot and camera. Two of them are startups established by college students.
The startups will be offered their offices in the incubator space at Samsung Electronics’ R&D campus in Umyeon-dong, Seoul, at no charge for one year, starting from next month. Accordingly, they will be free to use conference rooms and cafeterias at the campus. Moreover, they will receive seed money worth 100 billion won (US$88.73 million) as well as various support programs, including mentoring programs by internal and external experts about product design, technology, applying patents and taxation, and opportunities to participate in overseas IT exhibitions.
Samsung Electronics will also nurture 200 startups at Daegu and Gyeongbuk centers for Creative Economy & Innovation. The incubator project was supposed to end next year. However, it has been extended by three years to 2022 and will be jointly operated with the local government.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics experimentally started C-Lab at the end of 2012 to help inspire a more creative company culture at the initial phase. However, the internal venture incubation program now produce results that directly lead to commercialization. The Samsung Flip digital flipchart and Samsung Pay’s recommendation function are cases in point.