According to our research on Corporate outposts of innovation in Silicon Valley, Samsung is the global corporate with more “outposts of innovation” in Silicon Valley. The list includes:

  • SSIC (Samsung Strategic and Innovation Center)
  • Samsung Catalyst Fund
  • Samsung Ventures
  • Samsung Electro-Mechanics America (Manufacturing consumer electronics)
  • Samsung Research America
  • Samsung SDI America (storage, battery)
  • Samsung SDS America Research Center (IT service management)
  • Samsung NEXT

In this Mind the Chat I had the pleasure to sit down with Gary Coover, GM of Samsung NEXT in Silicon Valley. Gary, a Bay Area native who spent years in South Korea, has been the 2nd hire at NEXT, an entity that now employs around 200 people in its 4 areas: Products, Partnerships, Ventures and M&A.

In Gary’s words, NEXT is the brainchild of David Eun, president of NEXT and also Chief Innovation Officer of Samsung Electronics. David is a well known executive with a strong pedigree in Media and Tech – I had the pleasure of working with David during my days at Google, and strongly appreciated his leadership style. In his vision, while NEXT is focused on software and services, its ultimate goal it to help transform Samsung as a whole.

“simply put, the role of Samsung NEXT is to Help transform Samsung”

As most successful Open Innovation platforms, NEXT has evolved over the years, shifting, for example, from its “accelerator model” to a Product launch platform. Its target remains unchanged: provide the most appealing partnership platform for the hottest startups working in edge computing, digital health, media tech, AI. Gary covers interesting details of how NEXT Product arm, Samsung’s version of a “venture (product) builder” model, fits in NEXT’s overall plan better than its predecessor (the Accelerator).

“with our 4 arms, we want to be positioned as the best supporter of Silicon Valley startups”

Worth watching, in particular if you plan to cross path with Samsung any time soon (and you probably should).

“want to pitch Samsung? Think of what’s really unique about Samsung positioning that makes it your ideal partner”

4:54 Samsung Group: 1/3 of biz Supply Chain Management 2/3 Samsung electronics (components+set groups)
6:57 Samsung footprint in Silicon Valley (SDI, Electro-Mechanics, SSIC, Catalyst Fund)
10:10 What is NEXT: from David Eun’s vision to reality. 4 arms: venture, product (since 2017), M&A, partnerships
13:30 Measurable objectives at NEXT: help change Samsung
17:50 NEXT Fund, focus: edge, digital health, media tech, AI early stage
20:40 ~20 partnership managers to help orchestrate globally
23.05 M&A at NEXT: Whisk acquisition by NEXT
26:50 NEXT Product: building new products within NEXT
30:05 Product as an evolution of Samsung Accelerator
31:03 Timelines are product-dependent, $$$ are less of an issue
32:52 Staffing at NEXT Product: internal vs external
35:18 In home gaming adoption to the roof with the pandemic
37:03 Tech areas to feel bullish about