December 11, 2013 - 13:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Foxconn Technology Group, maker of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, is launching an investment fund to finance startups developing new kinds of wearable computers, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the project.
Syntrend Creative Park Co., a Foxconn unit, will administer the NT$200 million ($6.8 million) fund and select participants for a trial in the first quarter, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Operations at the incubator, providing offices and advisory services for startups, will open by the end of next year to create wearable and connected technologies, the people said, according to Bloomberg.
Foxconn is expanding beyond manufacturing devices for clients including Apple and Hewlett-Packard as slowing sales and increased competition challenge founder Terry Gou’s target of 15 percent annual revenue growth. In June, the billionaire showed off a smartwatch the company is developing and in October it acquired licenses to offer fourth-generation wireless service in Taiwan.
Syntrend, headed by Terry Gou’s son, Gou Shou-cheng, will open its Taipei Information Park by the fourth quarter of next year, the people said. Foxconn in 2010 won a government contract to build and operate a 12-story complex that will host retail outlets and product showcases from local and international brands, which may include Microsoft and Google.
Two floors of the building will be dedicated to the incubator, while startups chosen for the trial may be housed in temporary offices or at Foxconn facilities in Taipei City, the people said.
As many as 20 startups will be selected, with funding likely to be about NT$1 million each, the people said. Syntrend also plans to work with local and international universities to promote student programs and to sponsor startup competitions, they said.
While the focus will be on developing hardware, Syntrend may also support software startups such as mobile application developers that include wearable or connected device technologies, the people added, according to Bloomberg.