Samsung Catalyst Fund:
The Sherpa for Your Startup Journey

Dec 05, 2018 By Shankar Chandran

The way to Everest is not a Yellow Brick Road.
— Jon Krakauer, Writer & Mountaineer, summited Mount Everest in 1996

What does it take to climb to the top of Mount Everest? Mountaineering expertise, training, acclimation to altitude, a strong will, and the right equipment, for starters. But ask anyone who’s made it to the peak of the world’s tallest mountain, and they’ll tell you something else that helped make it possible: Sherpas.

Living at the Nepalese base of the mountain they call Chmolungma, Sherpas have physical capabilities—ability to thrive at high altitudes, with superior stamina and strength—and mountaineering expertise that make them uniquely suited for guiding climbers to the mountain’s lofty summit.

The journey of a startup can feel like an attempt to climb Mount Everest. Samsung Catalyst Fund was founded to act as a kind of Sherpa to entrepreneurs, helping innovative startups with world-improving technologies to reach the summit of their goals.

Offering startups access to the world’s largest platform

It’s no coincidence that the term ‘scaling’ is used for climbing mountains as well as building successful startups. Entrepreneurs with big ideas need to achieve big scale.

And we believe that startups have no better foundation for success than to leverage the power of Samsung, the world’s largest technology platform:

#1 semiconductor company
#1 global smartphone company
#1 television company
#1 active patents in the U.S

We can help Samsung Catalyst Fund portfolio companies accelerate innovation by leveraging Samsung’s  know-how to solve technical problems, in addition to providing access to Samsung’s global resources and connections.

Hard-wired to make impactful decisions

The Samsung platform is like the Everest of technology platforms. For startups with ideas that promise to make the world a better place, why not leverage one of the biggest and most extensive?

The Samsung Catalyst Fund reports to the President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Samsung Electronics, Young Sohn, who is responsible for creating new business for Samsung through investments and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Samsung Catalyst Fund is a strategic investment tool that enables Samsung to work directly with the best and brightest startups from around the world.

In this capacity, we’re plugged into the technology that will emerge in the next five to 10 years, from within Samsung and from the world at large.

Because we’re part of Samsung Electronics, we can create bridges between startups and Samsung. At the same time, Samsung Catalyst Fund has a charter to make independent investment decisions and assume fiduciary responsibility to our portfolio companies. We always navigate based on how portfolio companies can best leverage Samsung’s resources to achieve their own goals.

Through our multi-stage investment strategy, Samsung Catalyst Fund helps startups amplify their synergy with Samsung as they accelerate their own innovation.

Making co-prosperity a priority

Co-prosperity is a Samsung core value. It means that we aspire to become socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizens worldwide.

How does the principle of co-prosperity take shape at Samsung Catalyst Fund? We view investment success as a win-win-win for everyone involved: for us and our portfolio companies, of course. But also for our investment partners, the customers and employees of the startup companies in which we invest, and the broader global communities where we live, work, and play.

From an investment perspective, focusing on co-prosperity entails taking a strategic, patient, and inclusive approach. We don’t just throw money at problems and then walk away. Instead, we shepherd startups through the inevitable challenges that arise—using our expertise, along with persistence and creative problem-solving, to help our portfolio companies overcome the obstacles to reach their own business ‘summits.’

Like all good guides, we derive our satisfaction from the accomplishments of those we steer to achieve their goals. We’re happy to ascribe all the success to our portfolio companies, as when one of our early investments, Ring, was purchased by Amazon for more than $1 billion.

Climbing to the future

Like climbing a big mountain, bringing innovative technologies to market presents many challenges. Pioneering technologies, especially, need to be tried, tested, and perfected.

At Samsung Catalyst Fund, we see our relationship with portfolio companies as a journey. We’re committed to investing in people who are bringing to market technologies that offer tangible benefits to society—and in companies pushing the boundaries of innovation in areas that include:

Artificial intelligence
Smart factory and robotics
Digital health
Autonomous systems
Cloud and data infrastructure

For startups interested in harnessing and becoming part of the powerful Samsung ecosystem, Samsung Catalyst Fund can play a vital role as the Sherpa to entrepreneurial dreams. Together, we can usher technologies into existence that have the potential to make the world a better place.

Are you interested in taking this journey with us? Learn more, then contact our team.

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