South Korea’s LG Group will spend 150 billion won ($115.8 million) over the next three years to groom promising startups through its own open innovation platform Superstart as part of efforts to unearth new growth engines.
“We aim to groom businesses that benefit the world and are ‘new to world, new to LG’,” Kim Min-soo, vice-president of LG Science Park, the group’s R&D center, said in his recent interview with Maeil Business Newspaper upon the launch of Superstart.
Superstart is an open innovation platform, in which young startups seek support and advices from LG Group affiliates, venture investors, accelerators, public institutions, and colleges. LG Group-led open innovation platform is expected to create group-wide synergy in fostering new business models. LG has kicked off Superstart to meet the need to unearth new growth engines beyond its mainstay electronics, chemical and telecommunications.
“There are many promising startups with creative ideas that can be commercialized in five to ten years. It is like abandoning the future if we ignore such ideas that are new to LG,” said Kim.
LG plans to invest a total of 150 billion won in Superstart to groom 300 startups for the next three years. It will run Superstart Incubator, a program to help novice startups develop their promising ideas into new business items. It will provide up to 100 million won per startup.
With the group-led startup support program, LG is expected to advance into new businesses such as smart logistics and food tech sectors. It has invested heavily in robotics technologies as one of its new growth drivers for the future and provided logistics robots to CJ Logistics. Its mobile network operator LG Uplus has joined urban air mobility (UAM) project through a consortium with drone logistics startup Pablo Air and taxi-hailing and parking service platform Kakao Mobility.
LG is also expected to make equity investment in startups chosen by Superstart.
Superstart-picked entrepreneurs will also be provided with free office space in Superstart Lab, advice from Superstart Crew formed by LG executives and PoC program support.
By Jung Yoo-jung and Jenny Lee
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]