Samsung plans $1.1b Silicon Valley push

Samsung plans $1.1b Silicon Valley push

Samsung Electronics on Tuesday announced in the US plans to pour some $1.1 billion into buttressing its business platform in Silicon Valley, still considered the heart of global IT industries.

The Samsung Ventures America Fund ? originally formed to facilitate Samsung's global investment into venture companies - will be providing $1 billion (S$1.23 billion), while another $100 million will come from the Samsung Catalyst Fund.

"We see tremendous opportunities and transformations over the next five years driven by Big Data centred around mobile and cloud technology, and Samsung will be a significant part of this revolution," said Sohn Young, president and chief strategy officer of device solutions at Samsung.

"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."

Sohn currently heads the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, established in August last year as a part of the Suwon-based company's strategies to enhance its presence in Silicon Valley.

It was previously suggested that Samsung was not optimally active in the region home to some of the world's top technology corporations and thousands of smaller startups.

SSIC, with offices in Korea and Israel, was incepted with the aim of creating new businesses and building more open ecosystems through research and development, strategic alliances and M&As, according to Samsung.

Initial areas of focus for the centre include cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, human interface, and mobile health, which Samsung said it hopes to share with entrepreneurs.

To jumpstart the $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, SSIC is planning to hold a competition called the SamsungCreate Challenge, to be launched later this year.

The programme will encourage artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other innovators to leverage Samsung's Device Solutions Architecture Platform so that technology can be used to improve people's lives.

Winners will be rewarded with $10 million for seed investment, as well as incubation and support from the strategy and innovation centre's Innovation and Technology Fellows, along with partnerships with Samsung R&D technologists.

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