SK Telecom Growing New Seeds in Silicon Valley
OREANDA-NEWS. SK telecom (CEO & President Ha Sung Min) is actively fostering start-up companies that can lead future global ICT industry in Silicon Valley.
On March 4, 2014, SK telecom announced that its US corporation SK Telecom Americas (SKTA, CEO Park Min Hyung) completed the establishment of the start-up incubating center 'Inno Partners' (sktainnopartners.com) in Silicon Valley. Total of 11 companies can move in simultaneously and two companies had already moved in.
The purpose of Inno Partners establishment is to foster start-ups as SKT's future core growth drives by supporting start-ups with innovative technologies related with SKT's core business 'Telecommunication' from the early stage. This is to foster competitive partners that can lead 'Smart 2.0' era suggested by CEO Ha in MWC 2014. Target companies will be selected from various fields such as next generation high speed networking and mobile technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud, and new growth fields such as healthcare, security, and semiconductors.
Each company will receive funds, offices, and development facilities worth of USD 1,000,000. At the same time, through the ecosystem of Silicon Valley, experts from various fields such as technology, marketing, strategy, and investment will provide top-notch consulting services. Ken Lawler, the co-founder of America's largest venture capital Battery Ventures, and LibBu Tan, Chairman of Walden International, are working as advisors of Inno Partners.
The final goal of Inno Partners is to make start-up companies achieve financial independence with market-leading technologies and products within one year. At the same time, outstanding projects will be fostered as a future growth business through spin-in by SK telecom. SKTA is expecting win-win synergy effects by combining a large company's infrastructure with ventures' innovation.
*Spin-in: In order to secure new technologies, the company invests in the start-up and acquires that start-up after the technology development. The start-up can focus on technology development and minimize other costs for marketing, management, and funding. After the technology development, it can grow with the large company, which will result in a stable management.
Inno Partners received more than 300 business proposals since April 2013 and decided to support four projects after the review by the committee made up of experts from various fields. Among the four companies, two companies such as eTopus, which is developing high speed transmission technology, and NAND storage-related company Pavilion Data System moved in and other two companies are preparing to move in.
These companies explained that the reason why they did not moved in to the general incubation center, but into Inno Partners, is for the strategic win-win beyond funds security.
Harry Chan, President of eTopus, said, “The most attractive part of SK telecom is that it has world's best technologies and experiences on semiconductors as well as telecommunication and ICT. We can receive practical advice for business growth and make an entree into the bigger market through spin-in in the future. Through this, start-ups will be able to have a unique opportunity and benefit.”
Inno Partners is planning to foster eight start-ups this year. In accordance with their performances, they can receive more investment from SKTA partners, other related companies, and strategic partners.
Also it is promoting joint studies with an academic sector including Stanford University, Michigan State University, and Texas State University. In particular, as it is promoting next generation network technologies with Stanford University, start-ups developing telecommunication technologies will be able to have a chance to acquire information on advanced telecommunication technologies. SK telecom is the chair company of 5G Forum which is preparing demonstration of 5G in the Pyeongchang 2019 Olympics.
Park Min Hyung, President of SKTA, said, “Inno Partners provides a totally differentiated value from existing venture incubating programs in Silicon Valley. It will change the investment model of ventures and explore to foster innovative technologies that will lead the fourth and fifth wave.”