This is SK Telecom's incubating center for startups, InnoPartners, in Silicon Valley, Calif., the United States. / Courtesy of SK Telecom
By Kim Yoo-chul
SK Telecom, Korea's top mobile carrier, said Tuesday its affiliate in the United States will invest $11 million in nurturing startups in Silicon Valley.
"SK Telecom Americas (STA) has established an incubation center named InnoPartners in Sunnyvale, Calif. This will help us acquire needed patents for telecoms," the firm said in a press release.
The center will finance as many as 11 startups, whose businesses are mostly focused on the Internet of Things, big-data, cloud systems, healthcare, security and semiconductors.
SK officials said the investment reflects the firm's long-term vision for corporate sustainability. Samsung Electronics previously announced similar plans for a large center there called the Open Innovation Center.
The SK center will provide up to $1 million in seed funds, facilities and offices to each firm. It will also offer services from technology design tools to human resources assistance.
"Selected Silicon Valley startups will get substantial help from InnoPartners for a year. Depending on their achievements, we will decide whether or not to buy their business ideas," said a company spokesman.
SK Telecom received more than 300 business proposals and four startups are already working at the center.
They include eTopus, a developer of high-speed transmission technology to be used in the next-generation telecommunications networks, and Pavilion Data System, a storage system developer.