Korean multinational corporate giant LG Group will spend 150 billion won ($115.8 million) over the next three years to nurture promising startups through its open innovation platform Superstart. LG Electronics also entered into an agreement with Kakao Mobility to jointly discover innovative technologies and services based on the customer experience that will lead to the future mobility market.
LG to spend $115.8 million over 3 years on startups
“We aim to groom businesses that benefit the world and are ‘new to the 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 that supports young startups. The startups can get advice from LG Group affiliates, venture investors, accelerators, public institutions, and colleges through Superstart.
LG plans to invest 150 billion won in Superstart to groom 300 startups for the next three years. Will operate 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. Superstart entrepreneurs will be offered free office space in Superstart Lab, advice from Superstart Crew formed by LG executives and PoC program support.
The group-led startup support program is expected to help LG advance into new businesses such as smart logistics and food tech sectors. LG is also expected to make an equity investment in startups chosen by Superstart.
Investing in future technologies
In recent years, LG Group has invested heavily in robotics technologies and provided logistics robots to CJ Logistics. Its mobile network operator LG Uplus has joined the urban air mobility (UAM) project through a consortium with drone logistics startup Pablo Air and taxi-hailing and parking service platform Kakao Mobility.
Meanwhile, LG Group has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Kakao Mobility for future mobility technology partnerships. LG Electronics CTO Vice President Kim Byung-hoon said, “We will work with Kakao Mobility, the best mobility service platform company in Korea, to consider and discover new mobility customer experiences and innovative services that apply our technological capabilities in infotainment, robotics, data convergence, and communication fields.”
Seungil Yoo, CTO of Kakao Mobility, said, “Kakao Mobility has continuously introduced differentiated mobility services through advanced ICT technology capabilities. Starting with the collaboration with LG Electronics, we will not only strengthen our capabilities for future mobility services but also actively discover and support startups with outstanding technologies, thereby contributing to the establishment of an industrial ecosystem.”
Kakao Mobility’s control platform and LG Electronics’ robot platform are combined to build various linked services for moving objects in buildings. In the future, they plan to connect with multiple services in different areas. In addition, LG Electronics’ human-machine interface (HMI) solution for vehicles will be applied to vehicles linked to the Kakao Mobility platform, and new services will be discovered through data analysis technology and further service verification based on user.