Samsung Electronics unveiled two venture funds to invest a total of $1.1 billion, aimed at creating new businesses for its unit that makes memory chips and electronics parts.
The company announced the $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund and the $100 million Catalyst Fund for early stage startups, as well as a strategy and innovation center in Menlo Park, California, at an event near the site on Sand Hill Road.
The new Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center headquartered on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park and with offices in Korea and Israel is led by Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.
"We see tremendous opportunities and transformations over the next five years driven by Big Data centered around mobility, cloud, and the Internet of Things, and Samsung will be a significant part of this revolution," said Sohn. "This is an exciting opportunity for us to engage with entrepreneurs and innovators and empower them to leverage Samsung?s technology and global brand presence to bring our collective visions to market."
Initial focus areas include cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, Internet of Things, human interface, and mobile health, Samsung said.
To jumpstart the $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) is holding a competition, SamsungCreate Challenge, launching later in 2013. The program will encourage artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other innovators to leverage Samsung's Device Solutions Architecture Platform. The contest will award $10 million in seed investments for winners and will also include incubation and support from SSIC's Innovation and Technology Fellows and partnerships with Samsung R&D technologists.