SKT a presence in Silicon Valley
Two start-ups already have set up shop.
Inno Partners aims to support start-ups with innovative communications technologies to foster them as core growth drivers for SK Telecom.
The company will also support new growth businesses such as health care, security and semiconductors.
For each company that moves into the incubating center, SK Telecom will provide $1 million and office and development facilities.
In addition, Innopartners will support start-ups with consultations from top experts in technology and marketing.
Two of the advisers will be Ken Lawler, founding member of Battery Ventures, the largest venture capital firm in the United States, and Lib-Bu Tan, chairman of Walden International. Through such support, Innopartners hopes to help tenant companies stand on their own feet within a year with competitive technology and products with the potential to succeed in the market.
In addition, for top start-ups, SK Telecom will promote “spin-in,” acquiring the start-up so that it can focus on developing the technology while minimizing peripheral costs.
“The most attractive part is that SK Telecom has the world’s best technologies and experience in not only communications but the semiconductor industry,” said Harry Chan, the CEO of eTopous. “It is a great opportunity and benefit for start-ups as they can receive practical advice to grow as a successful business and also enter into larger markets through spin-in.”
Innopartners plans to foster eight start-ups this year. Furthermore, SKTA is cooperating with Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas in research and development.
With Stanford University, it is studying next-generation communication network technology so that the start-ups in communications will be the first to access the advanced technologies.
“Innopartners will provide differentiated values from the existing start-up fostering programs in Silicon Valley,” said Park Min-hyung, president of SKTA. “It will change the investment model of the start-up industry in the future and develop and foster innovative technologies that will lead the future.”
BY KIM JUNG-YOON [firstname.lastname@example.org]