Samsung is launching five home-brewed projects as independent startups from its in-house incubation center, the Creative Lab(C-Lab). The C-Lab was established as an attempt to allow the working personnel to innovate and develop ideas alongside their existing company projects.
With the help of Creative Lab, who gave the Samsung employees a chance to walk their own creative path, and take a year off from work have now established their projects into full-scale businesses. As a result of this program, 18 employees working for Samsung resigned and starting working full-time on their innovations.
Though the Creative Lab has been a part of Samsung’s work culture for quite sometime now, but this is the first time the Korean multinational is introducing their garage projects as separate entities into the real world of startups. After double-checking the valuations(once themselves, second by VC’s), Samsung is showcasing the top five projects which have the potential to be a commercial success.
The first product is actually a fashion accessory that you wear around your waist on the daily – a belt. But this is no ordinary belt, this is smart belt called the WELT. This is a smart device that you will wear around your waist as usual, but this has some sensors and a hardware device built into it. This will keep track of your waist size(ladies keep your phone well-hidden), your steps, eating habits and will even act as a fitness tracker.
Alongside WELT, we have another hardware project which will strike you as a very peculiar product, called the ‘Idea Printer’. And as the image next to this prose suggests, it says that right on the box. The Idea Printer helps you print your ideas on a sticky note so that you can pin it whenever and wherever you want it. This seems pretty dubious to me, unless the printer is pocket-watch sized.
Among the hardware innovations, the Creative minds at Samsung have also invented a couple of mobile applications that are a part of the C-Lab startup to business program. The company has introduced an application ‘Locksa’ that manages your photographs with the smartphone unlock function, an intelligent software called ‘Save Energy Cost’ that recommends the optimal electricity pricing system and last but not the least a product called ‘Samsung Insulation’, which is an insulator with the highest insulation efficiency in the world.
This year is the fourth year since C-Lab was initiated,
said Lee Jae II, Director of DMC R&D Center, Samsung Electronics.
To date, we have had 130 projects with 480 employees participating. Among those, 40 projects have been transferred to a business division to be developed as commercial products. Recently at global conventions such as CES and MWC, we have released outstanding C-Lab projects as a proactive effort to increase ties with actual business.
In addition to the announcement of the newly established startups, Samsung has also given us some insight into its Creative Lab program. It will now invigorate projects in a dedicated C-Lab only space in the central park of Samsung Electronics Digital City in Suwon.
Also, depending on the nature of each project, the team will be relocated and assigned to one of the C-Lab spaces, either the central park C-Lab or Seoul R&D campus in Umyeondong.
There are no further details available on the functionality of the devices or applications, but the Korean giant believes that the companies will release their offerings to the market in the second half of the year.
Google now has also taken cues from other technology giants and setup their own in-house entrepreneurship and startup incubation center called ‘Area 120‘. This allow Google to retain their top talent while allowing them to work on their entrepreneurial ideas at the same time.