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Samsung’s start-up accelerator marks 1st year

Samsung Group’s Daegu Center for Creative Economy and Innovation marked its first anniversary Tuesday. 

Starting with the Samsung start-up accelerator, the Korean government has opened up a total of 17 creative economy centers over the past year in partnership with top conglomerates with aims to nurture competitive venture firms spanning industries. 

An artist’s rendering of Samsung’s start-up accelerating complex in Daegu
An artist’s rendering of Samsung’s start-up accelerating complex in Daegu

Samsung Electronics vice chairman and the group’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong has also showed affection toward the center as he has led the company’s acquisitions of several tech start-ups in recent years.

According to Samsung, the center has supported 35 start-ups over the past year through its training program, called C-Lab. The first group of 17 companies graduated from the program in June and the second group has stayed at the center since July.

Samsung offers diverse benefits for residential companies, including initial cash funding of 20 million won ($17,000), mentoring on marketing and product strategy and consultations on funding.

The program is based on Samsung Electronics’ own internal training program. Fifty-two people from 38 companies have received the training.

Samsung plans to pour a combined 20 billion won into nurturing start-ups and venture firms by 2019.

“We will continue our support for ventures to realize their creative ideas into actual products and get funding from investors,” said Lee Seon-jong, president of Samsung Venture Investment.

Samsung has also shared some 40,000 patents owned by its tech affiliates such as Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI and Samsung Display through the center, mostly for mobile devices, displays, telecommunications, semiconductors and energy-related technologies.

In April, Samsung and the Daegu center signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Association of Science Parks to join hands in supporting young Brazilians to start their own businesses.

Under the agreement, Samsung’s Brazil branch will offer $1 million every year for the next five years. The group also plans to operate exchange programs between Korean and Brazilian start-ups. Two Brazilian firms will be invited to be trained at the Daegu center in 2016.

By Lee Ji-yoon (