Samsung’s tech incubator spins off six promising start-ups
Six start-ups will be launched, including Hum On!, a developer of an app that makes it easy to compose music through humming; Waffle, a social media company that lets users doodle with other people; Li Con, which has technology that facilitates control of the Internet of Things devices with a smartphone; Ahead, a smartphone communication device embedded in a helmet; FITT360, a wearable 360-degree camera; and ItsyWatch, a smartwatch for children.
The six start-ups made presentations at events like SXSW, an annual festival in Austin, Texas that celebrates the convergence of the technology, film, and music industries. Samsung said Ahead already got an offer for collaboration from a telecom service operator.
After internal reviews and assessments from external experts in start-ups, Samsung let the six units establish themselves as independent corporations as of Monday. They are scheduled to commercialize their products and services by the first half next year. In total, they have 23 employees.
Lee Jae-il, director of the DMC R&D Center at Samsung Electronics, vowed to boost the C-lab program to encourage more innovative ideas.
“We will try harder to build a start-up ecosystem that grows together with Samsung,” he said.
Samsung launched the C-Lab in late 2012 to incubate start-ups created by its own employees and foster a more creative corporate culture. Some 100 projects have been led by C-Lab over the past four years.
The incubator project is in line with Samsung’s announcement in March that it would adopt a lean corporate culture akin to that of start-ups as it faces saturated growth in its most important products like smartphones.
The Galaxy smartphone producer offered employees involved in the projects financial support while letting them run independent businesses, and promised the employees they could return to Samsung if their businesses failed.
Samsung will also provide its network and consulting on management issues. Previously, 14 start-ups were spun off from the mother company.
Among them, Sgnl, a smart strap that enables users to make calls by placing a fingertip on an ear, attracted almost $1.5 million in a Kickstarter campaign that lasted for 38 days until Oct. 8 - 30 times the initial pledged fund-raising goal of $50,000.
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