Typically at big tech conferences the words Samsung Unveils are followed by the latest Galaxy phone, tablet or phablet device. This time though, Samsung is looking for startups. In addition to their large booth in CES’ main hall with the latest televisions, appliances, VR and smartphones they also had a rather large presence in Eureka Park. Eureka Park is the startup area at CES which featured over 600 startups from across the globe.
This wasn’t their first soiree into the park. They’ve been promoting startups that they work with, partnered with or have acquired. Previously though, they went by the name Samsung Global Innovation Center. In keeping with the spirit of innovation, Samsung has changed the name of their startup initiative to Samsung NEXT. “our new name reflects our passion for partnering with tech innovators to take them to the NEXT level — build great ideas into products, grow products into thriving businesses and scale businesses that leverage and transform the Samsung ecosystem.” Brendon Kim, VP and Managing Director of Samsung NEXT Ventures said in a statement.
The Samsung NEXT Fund, a $150 million venture capital investment fund, to increase Samsung’s global support of early stage startups pursuing advanced software and services innovation. The Fund enables Samsung NEXT to build upon its multi-stage global innovation platform to empower tech entrepreneurs with funding, resources and deep-domain expertise.
“We see software and services becoming a core part of Samsung Electronics’ DNA, and startups are key to achieving this vision,” said David Eun, President and Founder of Samsung NEXT. “Samsung continues to embrace entrepreneurship at all levels and this Fund shows our unwavering commitment to support great startups worldwide.”
The Fund targets pre-Seed to Series B investments with a focus on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, IoT and other new frontier technologies. Companies that have received capital from the Fund so far include: Converge Industries, Dashbot, Entry Point VR, Filament, Intezer, LiquidSky, Otto Radio, 2Sens, SafeDK and Virtru.
“Our investments bring the power of the Samsung platform to startups to accelerate their growth and ultimately their success,” said Kim, “The Samsung NEXT Fund expands our global reach and capabilities, while increasing Samsung’s access to more great ideas, products and talent.”
Samsung is supporting startups through Samsung NEXT at offices in San Francisco, Mountain View, New York. and Korea. In September they launched their newest offie in Tel Aviv.
“We’re very passionate about partnering with startups and developing meaningful relationships in startup ecosystems around the world,” said Emily Becher, Managing Director of Samsung NEXT Start and head of Samsung NEXT’s international expansion. “We leverage local experts to fuel traction and drive scale for startups right where they are.”