Young Sohn, who is the first ever non-South Korea-based top executive at conglomerate Samsung, updated the market yesterday on what Samsung intends to do with its $1.1bn corporate venturing strategy. Sohn ,Samsung’s chief of strategy, came into the company last year. He said his speech at the IBF Corporate Venturing and Innovation Partnering Conference on Newport Beach, was an attempt to explain what Samsung’s innovation strategy is – joking the technology press in blogs like TechCrunch label his company “mysterious Samsung”. He said Samsung, which in the past decade has grown to become one of the biggest companies in markets like mobile handset, television and semiconductors, is looking to globalise its tracking of innovation, targeting innovation “hot-spots” like Silicon Valley – where he is located. “We have to change our decision-making process when we are on top of our game,” Sohn said. Sohn, who last week announced a $100m early stage Catalyst Fund to accompany the group’s $1bn Samsung Ventures, said his role at the group is to change its “decision making process” in response to the so-called innovator’s dilemma, posed by US academic Clayton Christensen in the 1990s, which suggest companies do not find it easy to adopt to customer’s current needs, and fail to adopt new technology or business models. Sohn said the early stage fund will see the company investing in lots of early stage deals, allowing it to hand $500,000 to an innovator like a Stanford university professor, to attempt to test out his idea. Sohn said: “We want to get [innovators] going, we want to help the incubation pipe.”
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Sohn unveils ‘mysterious Samsung’ strategy
Feb 14, 2013 • Toby Lewis
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