*) Samsung Electronics announced it would support five startups that have emerged from its C-Lab Inside venture program.
Started in December 2021, Samsung C-Lab Inside nurtures employees’ innovative ideas while instilling a corporate culture in which creativity is at the fore. Since its inception, C-Lab Inside has incubated 339 projects with the participation of 1395 employees. This May, Samsung announced support for four other startups, bringing the total of startups that the company supports to 57 along with the participation of 199 employees.
Continue reading to find out more about C-Lab Inside and the five latest startups selected to participate in it.
Nurturing Autonomy and Innovation
Once ideas are selected as C-Lab Inside projects, employees are given up to one full year away from their day-to-day roles at Samsung to focus on implementing their ideas, as well as a research fund, dedicated spaces and the autonomy to create their own work environment. The members are awarded a special incentive if the project results are transferred to an internal division for further development.
Since 2015, Samsung has been supporting C-Lab Inside projects with the potential not just to transfer into an in-house division, but also with greater market potential as a C-Lab spin-off in order to help activate the Korean startup ecosystem. These spin-offs receive seed money investment, 3-month mentoring programs about finance, law and investment, as well as business consulting to help with company building and developing business plans.
The founders of startups selected for the C-Lab Inside program receive severance and a business foundation grant. They also have the chance to return to Samsung Electronics in five years. Yoon-ho Choi (CFO, Samsung Electronics) stated that the company is happy to support employees with entrepreneurial mindsets and help them open a new chapter in their lives. “We look forward to seeing these new startups becoming truly innovative startups that bring changes to everyone’s daily lives.”
Simplifying Diagnoses: Diavision
Founded by biotechnology and software experts from Samsung Electronics’ Health & Medical Equipment Business division, the Diavison startup developed a COVID-19 quick diagnosis kit reading solution that harnesses a smartphone camera and image analysis technology.
Diavision’s idea was initially proposed at Samsung’s Grand Discussion to Overcome COVID-19, hosted by Choi, on Samsung’s company-wide intelligence platform MOSAIC last April when the pandemic was rapidly emerging as a global issue. While 1,620 ideas were proposed by Samsung employees harnessing their own as well as the company’s technical skills and capabilities, Diavision was selected as an excellent idea, and subsequently selected as a C-Lab Inside project.
Diavision’s strategy focused on the issue that, thanks to the rapid spread of COVID-19 worldwide, there was a significant increase in demand for accurate and rapid diagnostic kits. The COVID-19 rapid diagnosis kit has the advantage of being easily used by anyone, but as the infection is visually determined, concerns surrounding misjudgment can arise if the results are blurred. The U.S. FDA recommends that inspection equipment be distributed together to ensure accurate diagnosis. However, it can be difficult to access at home, small hospitals or clinics, and its more complex operation methods make it expensive.
Diavision solved the problem with smartphones and image analysis technology. The results of the diagnostic kit can be photographed using a smartphone camera. Images are processed with digital signal processing technology to determine the virus count. This allows for the determination of results even in cases where it is difficult to distinguish. Diavision’s method was proven to be more accurate than the traditional method of diagnosing with the eyes. This was confirmed in clinical trials at local medical institutions.
Diavision’s solution works not only for COVID-19 diagnosis, but also for neutralizing antibody diagnosis kits that check antibody production after vaccination. Diavision received requests from the bio-industry including kit manufacturers for assistance even before the spinoff announcement. Diavision’s solution can be extended to include a wider range of rapid diagnostic kits for the flu and metabolic disorders.
Easier Customer Interactions: Cheeseade
Following the rise of smaller, unmanned stores during the COVID-19 pandemic to help promote social distancing measures, startup Cheeseade has developed a solution that harnesses visible light communication (LiFi) to reduce the burden on these smaller stores.
The solution is a visible light transmission device with a smartphone app that allows for reception. It can be attached to existing lighting or kiosks. Customers can check product information and place orders using the LiFi device by simply turning on the app in the store. This simple and inexpensive solution will allow store operators to manage customer data, which will enable them to continue operating smart unmanned stores.
An Intelligent Dance Gamer: Goose Lab
Goose Lab, a startup founded by Samsung mobile phone UX designers and AI experts with 14 years of dance experience, has developed an AI dance game platform that is based on motion recognition technology. While in the C-Lab Inside program the Goose Lab founders were dance enthusiasts and followed the growing trend of people creating dance videos online. While watching the explosion in dance videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram during the pandemic they noticed that many people were unable to correct their moves. They were unable to get feedback or explanations when they were dancing at home.
Goose Lab’s dance game platform uses AI vision technology to analyze and give feedback on dance movements. It works with only mobile phones or laptop cameras, and does not require a separate device like a console. This technology will be used to create an avatar dance platform for people all over the globe. The startup also plans to create a metaverse platform for dance enthusiasts to share and create games.
Making Homebrewing Easy: Booze & Buzz
Booze & Buzz is a startup run by a Samsung mobile device development expert and a mobile UX designer who have lived in Italy for 10 years and won multiple international homebrewing competitions. The solution reduces the time it takes to brew alcohol at home from three to seven weeks. It also makes the product more portable to make it easier to use at home.
Users can use the app to monitor and control their home-brewed beverages. They can make beer, sparkling wine, mead, and Korean rice wine.
In the future, the startup plans to provide personalized services that allow users to order their own alcohol kit by selecting the ingredients they want, and is set on leading the homebrewing culture in line with the growing trend of home-based lifestyles following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sensor-Powered Orthotics: Logos Bioelectronics
Logos Bioelectronics has developed a personalized foot brace – a functional insole – production solution for the 10 to 20% of the population who have difficulty walking due to changes in their foot shape. The global foot orthotics market, currently valued at 2.9 billion USD, is projected to grow more than 6 percent each year. It is usually expensive and time-consuming to make foot orthotics. Logos Bioelectronics solved this problem with their unique engine. This uses sensors to collect data and creates customized foot orthotics.
When users wear the Logos Bioelectronics sensor insole, the AI algorithm can detect their walking position and foot shape. You can order customized orthotics online for a much lower price than the current market.
Investing in Startup Longevity
Samsung Electronics has invested a total of 25 million USD over the past six years to support 57 C-Lab Inside spin-off startups, thus creating over 470 jobs. These startups have subsequently raised a total of over 84 million USD in follow-up investments, and their overall corporate value has surpassed 430 million USD.
The average survival rate of Korean startups after three years is 41.5%, and the average survival rate after five years falls to 29.2% – but the survival rate of C Lab spin-off startups is 98% after three years and 65% after five years, well above the national average. The C-Lab within the startup spin-off program results in innovative solutions that improve the lives of people and enhances Korean startups’ reputation. At CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition, the program’s solutions won 14 innovation awards.
Particularly of note is EVAR, an electric vehicle charging solution company that spun off in 2018 and recently received a 4.6 million USD investment from Samsung Venture Investment and a major domestic automaker. EVAR plans to launch a subscription-based charging business and is expanding its reach to a wireless car charging platform.
Furthermore, Lululab, an AI skin analysis service company that spun off in 2017, has entered more than 100 overseas offline stores in 11 countries through B2B partnerships, contributing to the K-beauty wave in the global beauty market. The company, which currently has more than 700,000 skin data points, aims to be listed on the KOSDAQ in 2023.
Stay tuned to Samsung Newsroom to get more information about C-Lab Inside or its startup spin-off programme.
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