Korean tech giant LG makes everything from TVs (they announced new ones at CES), washing machines and refrigerators, to, well, it’ll probably take less time to list the things they don’t. not get involved. so it’s surprising that the company has a strong focus on innovation, and that LG Nova is its relatively new North American innovation hub. Based in Santa Clara in Silicon Valley, Calif., LG’s business unit is finding exciting new ways to work with startups to advance LG’s mission in some of its key growth areas.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company announced the first companies to be on its shortlist to work with the electronics giant. Startups have a few traits in common, highlighting and reinforcing some of the areas of focus for business innovation areas.
LG Nova aims to be the center of the Venn diagram of the entire startup ecosystem, including startups, of course. He wants to unite this with LG’s own strengths and advantages, including the broader investor landscape, big tech, academia, the entrepreneur community, and LG’s own sales and marketing channels where appropriate.
LG Nova’s current program is the Mission for the Future challenge, which is basically a filtering system to find the most promising entrepreneurs and startups who can work with LG’s Entrepreneurs in Residence to help build businesses within the LG ecosystem. Mission for the futureis LG Nova’s annual nine-month challenge program created to seek out the best ideas, concepts and companies from around the world that will improve the quality of life in a smarter, healthier and more connected future.
The first big theme for LG in this space is connected health, with a particular focus on doubling down on healthcare-focused healthcare to meet the well-being needs of people in healthcare facilities, at home or through services in this space. LG Nova announced its first two shortlisted companies as XR Health, which offers VR treatment rooms for telehealth services, and Maya MD, which is an AI digital health assistant that leverages LG TVs to encourage customers to engage active conversations about their health.
the metaverse is the second broad category LG Nova is paying close attention to, in what appears to be a broader exploration of how people and machines can connect in new ways of interacting. Here, LG Nova announced iQ3, which builds enterprise apps and services for product training for the Metaverse, and I3M, which builds a hyper-realistic virtual travel and tourism experience.
Sustainable mobility is the third pillar of LG’s innovation push, in the words of the company Energizing mobility. SparkCharge is an interesting company that makes electric vehicle charging mobile, while maintaining sustainability. Driivz, meanwhile, is building a sort of operating system for managing electric vehicle charging.
The last part of LG Nova’s innovation pie chart is about Smart lifestyles, which seems to be LG’s parlance for smart home technology. In this universe, they chose a universal smart key technology, EveryKey, which involves using a single device to unlock your car, phone and doors, and secure logins to your website, while A.kin AI is a company working to add virtual assistant technology to LG’s hardware products. It is particularly aimed at homes that have issues coordinating home care for neuro-diverse audiences. Chefling completes the smart lifestyle cabal, with a solution to plan, shop and cook meals that follow your dietary needs.
The announced startups give you a behind-the-curtain look at the type of thing LG Nova is looking for. The next batch will open for applications later this year, and at CES I spoke in depth with the program boss to learn more about what LG is looking for, how the program aims to work with startups, and how to get the inside track how to get the attention of the incubator selection committee.