Hon Hai linked to plans for wearable-computer startups


Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 14

Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), which makes Apple Inc’s iPhones and iPads, is launching an investment fund to finance startups developing new kinds of wearable computers, according to two people familiar with the project.

Syntrend Creative Park Co (三創數位), a Hon Hai unit, will administer the NT$200 million (US$6.8 million) fund and select participants for a trial in the first quarter, the people said.

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.

Syntrend, headed by Hon Hai founder Terry Gou’s (郭台銘) son, Gou Shou-cheng (郭守正), will open its Taipei Information Park by the fourth quarter of next year, the people said. In 2010, Hon Hai won a government contract to build and operate a 12-story complex that is to host retail outlets and product showcases from local and international brands.

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 Hon Hai facilities in Taipei, 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.

Syntrend may also support software startups such as mobile application developers that include wearable or connected device technologies, they added.