Today Samsung announced that it is expanding its United States presence with the creation of a Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC). The goal of this project is to help introduce the company’s vision for a global engine to “accelerate innovation and to drive new business creation for Samsung’s Device Solutions business.” To help accomplish this, the company is also utilizing $1.1 billion to create two new funds: the Samsung Catalyst Fund and the Samsung Ventures America Fund.

Headquartered on the famous Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center will be led by Young Sohn, the President and Chief Strategy Officer of the company’s Device Solutions division. He believes that there are “tremendous opportunities and transformations over the next five years driven by Big Data centered around mobility, cloud and the Internet of Things.”

Samsung’s additional presence in Silicon Valley will help it to further integrate itself with the new and emerging businesses happening here everyday, in addition to working with accelerators and other larger companies like Google and Facebook. The company says that it hopes to help entrepreneurs and innovators get better accustomed to its “unique” ecosystem and resources, including:

  • Strategy and technology mentorship from SSIC’s Innovation and Technology Fellows, along with other industry experts within Samsung’s R&D centers to help advance their developments and business
  • Samsung’s global technology and product platforms, and opportunities to partner with Samsung’s Device Solutions business units and Samsung’s international R&D centers for product development, go-to-market strategies, and channel development
  • Strategic alliance and merger and acquisition opportunities throughout Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions business.

In addition to the SSIC, Samsung plans to invest $1.1 billion into companies it believes are innovating. To help it jumpstart its $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, the company will hold a competition called the SamsungCreate Challenge that will launch later in 2013. The goal is to get artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other innovators to use its Device Solutions Architecture Platform. The winners will be awarded $10 million in seed investments and will join the company’s incubator while also receiving support from SSCI’s Innovation and Technology Fellows.

The company has also made a $1 billion investment into its Ventures America Fund, which specializes in startups, specifically those in the information technology sector with a focus on consumer electronics, digital media, display technology, semiconductors, and/or telecommunications. Previously it has typically invested in companies between $2 million to $5 million per investment round. Of note, it has funded Swype, Quellan, picoChip Designs, and others.

Sohn said during a press conference announcing the news, that “in disruptive times, anything can happen and we want to make sure that we are on top of that.” He continued, as reported by VentureBeat, by saying that venture capitalists have been shying away from investments in basic science and technologies that take a long time to incubate. VCs are more focused on applications or late-stage companies.

Samsung’s expansion in Silicon Valley isn’t unexpected. After all, it was announced in December 2012 that the company was going to create an incubator to compete against AT&T. Other resources in the area include its Samsung Semiconductor Inc. office and Samsung Information Systems America.

The full release is below:

New Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Investment Funds, and International R&D Centers Power a New Model

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(Business Wire)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global leader in digital convergence technologies and advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced its vision for a global engine to accelerate innovation and to drive new business creation for Samsung`s Device Solutions businesses. The new Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC), new $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund, and Samsung’s international R&D centers create a powerful platform for igniting global innovation. Samsung Electronics will leverage these organizations in global innovation hotspots to create new businesses and build open ecosystems through research and development, investments, strategic alliances, and M&A.

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.”

This new model creates a mutually beneficial foundation for Samsung and innovators to explore new opportunities and drive future growth related to Samsung’s components businesses. Initial focus areas include cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, Internet of Things, human interface, and mobile health. Entrepreneurs and innovators will gain access to Samsung’s unique ecosystem and resources including:

* Strategy and technology mentorship from SSIC Innovation and Technology Fellows, along with other industry experts within Samsung R&D centers, to advance their developments and businesses
* Samsung’s global technology and product platforms, and opportunities to partner with Samsung`s Device Solutions business units and Samsung’s international R&D centers for product development, go-to-market strategies, and
channel development
* The early-stage $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund focused on components and subsystems together with the $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund, to fuel innovative technologies and business models through all stages of business
* Strategic alliance and merger and acquisition opportunities throughout Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions businesses

SamsungCreate Challenge

To jumpstart the $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, 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. Aimed at identifying and nurturing visionaries seeking to use technology to improve our lives, 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. Additional details on the SamsungCreate Challenge will be announced at a later date.

To learn more about the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center and its Samsung Catalyst Fund, please email ssic-info@ssi.samsung.com.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in consumer electronics and the core components that go into them. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 227,000 people across 75 countries with annual sales exceeding US$143 billion. Our goal is opening new possibilities for people everywhere. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.

Samsung and the stylized Samsung design are trademarks and service marks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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