The Korea Herald


SK Telecom fosters start-ups in Silicon Valley

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : March 4, 2014 - 20:33

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SK Telecom, the nation’s largest mobile carrier, is to incubate start-ups in Silicon Valley in areas such as the Internet of Things, big data, cloud service and health care.

Its North American arm SK Telecom Americas said Tuesday it set up the incubating center Innopartners, which can accommodate more than 11 companies in Sunnyvale.

Two companies ― a transmission technology developer eTopus and a NAND storage provider Pavilion Data System ― have already moved into the center. The center aims to attract eight companies this year.

The start-ups are provided with seed money worth $1 million, offices, facilities, and marketing and consulting services. Ken Lawler, a founding member of Battery Ventures, and Lib-Bu Tan, chairman of Walden International, are serving as advisors to Innopartners.

Innopartners said it has a spin-in plan to buy promising companies once they develop technologies in a bid to form win-win partnerships.

CEO of eTopus Harry Chan said, “This incubation system is a good opportunity for us. We can get practical advice from Innopartners and have the chance to make forays into bigger markets through a spin-in system.”

SK Telecom Americas CEO Park Min-hyung said, “Innopartners provides differentiated value from conventional incubation programs. We will continue to discover and foster innovative technologies down the road.”