Korean tech giant LG makes everything from televisions (they announced a few new ones at CES), washing machines and refrigerators, to, well, it will probably take less time to list the things they don’t engage in. It should come as no surprise that the company has a robust interest in innovation, then, and LG Nova is its relatively new North America Innovation Center. Based in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, California, LG’s business unit is finding new and exciting ways to work with startups to advance LG’s mission in some of its key growth areas.
At the consumer electronics trade show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company announced the first companies that entered its shortlist to work with the electronics giant. Startups have some traits in common, highlighting and reinforcing some of the focus areas for the company’s innovation areas.
LG Nova aims to be the center of the Venn diagram of the entire startup ecosystem, including startups of course. She wants to combine this with LG’s own strengths and advantages, including the broader investor scene, big tech, academia, the entrepreneurial community and LG’s own sales and marketing channels where appropriate.
The current program that LG Nova is running is the Mission to the Future challenge, which is essentially a filtering system to find the most promising entrepreneurs and startups that can work with LG Nova’s resident entrepreneurs to help build businesses within the LG ecosystem. LG. Mission for the futureis LG Nova’s nine-month annual challenge program created to pursue the best ideas, concepts and businesses around the world that improve the quality of life in a smarter, healthier and more connected future.
LG’s first big theme in this space is connected health, with a special focus on the duplication of health care focused on health care to meet the well-being needs of people in health facilities, in their homes or through services in that space. LG Nova announced its first two shortlisted companies as XR Health, which offers VR treatment rooms for telehealth services, and MD Maya, which is a digital AI health assistant that leverages LG televisions to encourage customers to have active conversations about their health.
THE metaverse it’s the second broad category that LG Nova is paying particular 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 creates enterprise product training applications and services for the metaverse, and I3M, which is building a hyper-realistic virtual travel and tourism experience.
Sustainable mobility is the third pillar of LG’s innovation drive, in what the company calls Energizing Mobility. SparkCharge is an exciting company that is making electric vehicle charging mobile while maintaining sustainability. driivz, meanwhile, is building a kind of operating system for managing electric vehicle charging.
The final part of the LG Nova innovation chart is about smart lifestyles, which seems to be LG’s talk for smart home technology. In this universe, they chose a universal smart key technology, every key, which is an effort to use a single device to unlock your car, phone, and doors, and keep your website logins secure, while A.kin AI is a company working to add virtual assistant technology to LG’s hardware products. It is particularly intended for homes that have home care coordination challenges for neurodiverse audiences. Chef completes the smart lifestyle cabal with a solution to plan, buy and cook meals that follow your dietary needs.
The announced startups give you a glimpse behind the curtain into the sort of thing LG Nova is looking for. The next batch opens for entries later this year, and at CES, I spoke in depth with the head of the program to find out more about what LG is looking for, how the program intends to work with startups, and how to get the incubator selection committee’s attention..