Samsung Electronics, the international company which offers everything from cell phones to home appliances, is looking to mentor and help grow start-up businesses.
Last week, Samsung announced the entrance of its $100 million new venture fund, the Samsung Catalyst Fund, which will work specifically with early stage start-up businesses located in the Silicon Valley region.
Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung’s device solutions unit, said that “it is important to be in Silicon Valley. This is the epicenter of disruptive forces. And we want to make sure we are part of the disruptive forces.”
This effort not only gives start-up businesses the financial resources necessary to expedite growth; it includes access to Samsung’s resources, including research and development centers, along with its marketing and branding muscle.
The Samsung Catalyst Fund will work alongside Samsung Venture Fund, which has over $1 billion in assets.
Sohn added that Samsung Catalyst Fund’s “role is not to be an incubator,” but rather to act as a seed investment fund. “We are going to be bringing expertise to these companies.”
The fund is seeking ideas and start-up businesses which focus on remote computing, cybersecurity, mobility, mobile privacy, and related sub-systems, such as batteries. Although the fund will be located in Silicon Valley, it has not yet made any requirements stating that the businesses be located in the Silicon Valley region.
As an indication that the Samsung Catalyst Fund is moving quickly, Sohn stated that he has already identified an investable idea by a professor in Wyoming. He indicated that they intend to fund the creation of the professor’s company.
Samsung has not released details on proposal submission, but as they release more information, it will be posted quickly.