When Samsung opened the doors to its Silicon Valley accelerator in Palo Alto on Thursday night, the company announced it was already looking ahead, working to debut another one in New York City by September.
Under the umbrella of the company's Open Innovation Center, the accelerators are part of Samsung's efforts to support software startups. "As a company that produces world-class hardware, we know we have to have a really great and thoughtful integration of software within hardware," said David Eun, executive vice president and head of the Open Innovation Center.
Eun, who survived the Asiana 214 crash at SFO last week (with a Path and Twitter post seen around social media), started off his brief speech in Palo Alto's historic Varsity Theater by addressing what was on everyone's minds:
As you may have heard or read, I had a very eventful weekend. I was involved in the Asiana Airlines 214 crash on Saturday. I said back then it was surreal. It's still surreal now. I feel very fortunate to be here. Unfortunately, many others were not.
Two teenagers from China were killed as a result of the crash.
Focusing on his the Open Innovation Center, Eun called it a way "to think about working exclusively with startups and entrepreneurs, by partnering with them, investing in them and by doing acquisitions, and by having this accelerator, which is basically here exclusively to incubate and support our own startups." (Entrepreneurs take note: Eun said the space has open desks for startups to use.)
Though Eun was mum about what's brewing inside, Fast Company learned Dwipal Desai, who worked with Eun back in their Google days, is heading a seven-person team, and another startup began working in the space a few days ago. Both groups, as well as the ones in New York, are working in stealth mode. Eun said he has already seen a few prototypes from New York that he's "very excited about."
Earlier this week, Samsung also broke ground on an energy-efficient headquarters in San Jose. The campus, which will feature a solar rooftop and green space, will house 2,000 employees.
[Image: Alice Truong]