Samsung Opens AI startup Incubator in Gwangju

Samsung opens AI startup incubator in Gwangju

Samsung Electronics said Monday it has opened a branch campus for its startup support program in Gwangju to incubate promising small businesses to spur innovation and build a business ecosystem without relocating themselves to bustling Seoul and metropolitan areas.

Located in Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance’s office in the Sangmu region, C-Lab Outside Gwangju will be run to nurture innovative startups, revitalize the local economy and boost high-quality jobs in the rural area. The new campus marks the third of its kind, alongside two other campuses in Seoul and Daegu, Samsung officials said.

Samsung’s Creative Lab, dubbed “C-Lab,” is a program that helps to develop and support creative ideas both inside and outside the company. It has been running an in-house venture program called C-Lab Inside since 2012, and expanded its coverage to a startup acceleration program called C-Lab Outside in 2018.

Samsung plans to select innovative regional startups every year and provide a one-year support program at the Gwangju campus. Selected firms’ benefits will include up to 100 million won ($76,400) in grants to support businesses, consulting services at each stage of their business growth cycle and opportunities to cooperate with Samsung.

With the South Korean government’s goal to develop Gwangju into a global artificial intelligence-centered city, Samsung has chosen five local startups centering on related business for the first year of its new campus program. Other non-AI related firms were evaluated highly based on their technologies related to health care and materials and parts, Samsung officials said.

“We believe that new innovation is possible when startups’ innovation and dynamism meet with Samsung’s know-how, infrastructure and networks to create a synergy together,” Samsung Global Research President Kim Wan-pyo said. “We look forward to seeing outstanding tech startups in Gwanju expand their footprints globally.”

In the meantime, Samsung looks to further expand its startup incubation program across the country. It will open another campus called C-Lab Outside Gyeongbuk in North Gyeongsang Province in the following month.

Last week, Samsung Group announced its plan to invest a combined 60.1 trillion won over the next decade for the country’s manufacturing business in rural areas to pursue balanced regional development and boost each region’s competitive edge to a global level.

NOTE: This aericle has been republished from Korea Herald.