Samsung supports seven start-up spin-offs

Samsung execs have given the thumbs up to seven ideas created in its Creative Lab initiative, creating a series of start-ups all fuelled and managed by employees.

The seven will focus on a variety of areas including VR/AR, IoT and healthcare, demonstrating innovation came come from some unlikely sources. For the most part, organic innovation is a rare skill to nurture in the technology giants, with most choosing to outsource risk by means of acquisition.

Most organizations would say they are innovative, but for the most part this is on the commercial side of things. When it comes to creating something new and novel, there are few innovators in the multinational club. Even Google, the poster child of innovation, is guilty here. Yes, it does have its Moonshot division, but a number of its most promising ideas have come through acquisition. For example, its AI surge really gained momentum with the purchase of Deepmind.

It isn’t a strategy which should be frowned upon though, how many false dawns have we seen for breakthrough technology? Finding an idea and having the confidence to buy and scale it should be considered a very sensible approach, but it is nice to see Samsung doing thing a bit differently.

Samsung’s Creative Lab (C-Lab) programme was brought to being in 2012, and is an internal project to encourage employees to play around with new ideas and business models. The spin off idea was started in 2015 and so 32 business have received the green light, so it could be deemed a success. But who are the new seven?

  • Hyperity – A VR/AR solution to remotely control smartphones and desktops through virtual screens without a physical monitor
  • Linkface – A VR solution that can detect eye and facial muscle movement and let users directly control VR content
  • PIXELRO – A smartphone-based solution to provide a vision correction solution to presbyopia, replacing regular eyeglasses
  • BlueFeel – A personal portable air purifier that doesn’t block the user’s mouth, developed as a response to users who dislike the discomfort of regular dust masks
  • Defind – A smart shoe matching service that carries out a 3D scan of a customer’s foot to enable them to buy shoes that fit perfectly
  • Soft Launch – A social media-based recommendation service for restaurants and stores aiming to combat fake reviews, and developed by employees from multiple Samsung affiliates
  • 1Drop – A low-cost blood glucose measurement solution using LED and the camera of a smartphone

“We have provided the support to establish 32 C-Lab alumni start-ups over the past two years and based on our valuable past experience, we are planning to build up a more profound and actionable program to nurture employees’ ideas and launch new start-ups,” said Jaiil Lee, Head of the Creativity & Innovation Centre at Samsung Electronics.

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