SAN JOSE, Calif. – SK Telecom Americas aims to open a small incubator in Silicon Valley as early as March. It will provide a home with services and seed funding to as many as four startups.
The incubator is an effort by the Korean telecom and chip giant to extend its ecosystem. Samsung announced similar plans for a larger center here recently.
The SK incubator will form the core of an innovation center dedicated to technologieds that could extend the reach of SK in areas including semiconductors, networking and medical electronics.
SK is Korea’s third largest company after Samsung and LG. It is the country’s largest telecom operator and recently bought a controlling stake in chip maker Hynix.
The innovation center will provide up to $1 million in seed funds to up to four companies. It will also provide facilities and services from chip design tools to human resources assistance.
Startups will need to agree with SK on milestones. If they hit them, startups can be spun into the company. SK is also developing a network of venture capitalists who could back startups that don’t become part of the company.
SK is hiring program and business development managers for the center.