LG U+ looks for in-house start-ups

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LG U+ looks for in-house start-ups

LG U+ is nurturing in-house start-ups for the first time.

The company said Thursday that it is taking applications for its first in-house start-up acceleration program so its employees can seek new business models linked with the latest technologies including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented reality and robots.

The mobile carrier will take applications until Aug. 10 and choose five teams. These teams will be moved from their original roles at the carrier to five separate task forces for a year from September. Whether their ideas will be commercialized will be determined through an assessment in August next year. Successful teams will also be offered chances to open their own businesses with support from LG U+.

According to LG U+, the teams will be given work space within LG’s newly built research campus LG Science Park in Gangseo District, western Seoul. It will also grant each team a maximum 170 million won ($150,749) for support on top of all the benefit packages they used to receive while working for the carrier.

“We are trying to provide the best environment for our employees to try and open up new businesses,” a spokesperson for the company said. “Apart from monetary support, the company will support each team with online training sessions and mentoring and link them with global networks.”

As LG Group has recently set up a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley in the United States, dubbed LG Technology Ventures, the firm will help start-ups founded by LG U+ employees attract investment and secure key technologies. The firm operates four funds worth around $400 million.

“We plan to develop our start-up acceleration programs to nurture many homegrown unicorns and decacorn start-ups,” said Kim Sang-bu, an LG U+ vice president in charge of the carrier’s strategic alliance and global partnership unit.

Unicorns are start-ups worth more than a trillion won, while decacorn are start-ups worth more than 10 trillion won.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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