Qualcomm head mulls $90 million for start-ups

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Qualcomm head mulls $90 million for start-ups

Qualcomm, an American company specializing in mobile technology, is considering investing around $90 million to nurture Korean start-ups, said the company’s Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs on Tuesday.

At a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (Amcham) at the Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel, central Seoul, Jacobs said he supports Korean start-ups because of their innovative ideas in the IT industry, and was mulling over a $90 million investment to support them.

Qualcomm already invested 3.15 billion won ($2.82 million) in MangoPlate, a Korean mobile app that helps users discover new restaurants, on June 22.

Jacobs, the son of the Qualcomm’s founder Irwin Jacobs, has been also chairing the U.S.-Korea Business Council since 2012. He visited Seoul for a one-night, two-day trip as part of his work as the council’s chairman.

He said the visit was his 89th to Korea.

At the luncheon, he spoke with Amy Jackson, the president of Amcham, about innovation, cooperation and prosperity. He also shared his opinions on Qualcomm’s businesses and Korea’s IT sector.

Jacobs stressed the necessity of supporting studies and research by students with master’s or doctorate degrees in engineering and natural science, calling it a shortcut for innovation.

Introducing Qualcomm’s special program to nurture those students, dubbed the “innovation award,” he said investing in students is investing in a country’s future.

During his stay in Seoul, he visited the Seoul city government to meet with Mayor Park Won-soon. In the meeting, he agreed to support the city government’s project to provide special mobile phones for elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The phones allow their guardians to track them if they go missing.

Under the plan, Qualcomm will fund the cost of the telecommunication services while SK Telecom will provide the phones free of charge.

Currently, there are about 1,200 elderly patients suffering from the disease in Seoul.

BY KIM YOUNG-MIN, KIM HEE-JIN [kim.heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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