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LG NOVA: Building New Ventures to Accomplish Mission for the Future


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With an unwavering policy of open innovation with startups around the world, LG has been fostering businesses outside its own to better prepare for the future. These big-picture efforts are centered on LG NOVA, the company’s North American Innovation Center in California’s Silicon Valley – known worldwide as the hub of startups.

Established in 2021, LG NOVA aspires to form a collaborative ecosystem that accelerates the growth of new ideas by working closely with startups on new businesses that can enhance LG’s future readiness.

LG NOVA aligns with LG CEO William Cho’s growth strategy of 3B – Build, Buy and Borrow – to strengthen the company’s future growth engine by embracing talent and technology through exchanges with various innovative companies.

Let’s look at how this essential innovation center works with its partners to bring about groundbreaking advancements. Furthermore, we’ll explore how it is establishing a community dedicated to creating and nuturing businesses that contribute positively to the future of our world.

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Discovering Global Startups to Break New Ground in Healthcare
LG NOVA’s “Mission for the Future” program, now in its fourth year, is designed to discover and nurture innovative global startups seeking to improve people’s quality of life in a greener, smarter and more-connected future.

In its first three years, LG NOVA received over 4,000 submissions from innovative global startups, with more than 100 companies selected to explore joint business opportunities with LG.

This year is an especially important one, as this month, LG NOVA unveiled its first new venture, “Primefocus Health,” with Darren Sabo, previously head of commercialization of new health ventures at LG NOVA, at the helm as the CEO. Sabo has a wealth of experience in new business development, making him the perfect candidate to take this digital health venture forward.

Picture2-600x400.jpg(From left to right) Darren Sabo, CEO of Primefocus Health, and Sokwoo Rhee, Head of LG NOVA and SVP of Innovation for LG Electronics

Primefocus Health is committed to easing the journey from hospital to home for patients. It leverages cutting-edge technologies and novel healthcare treatments through a platform designed to offer patients access to a personalized care plan. This plan, curated by their healthcare provider, aids in the recovery from chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

This healthcare platform also offers providers access to patient data and information, enabling them to assist, guide, communicate and intervene as necessary during the patient’s home recovery. The platform aims to facilitate remote patient monitoring, providing real-time biometric information that can be integrated into the provider’s electronic health record systems.

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LG NOVA is collaborating with more healthcare startups through the Mission for the Future program, including

link hidden, please login to view
, which integrates immersive VR/AR technology to provide comprehensive therapeutic care for remote medical treatment, and , a sensor-based technology platform that utilizes the cameras in personal devices to virtually capture health readings to enhance diagnosis and treatment effectiveness.

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Another example that demonstrates LG NOVA’s focus on digital health is , a virtual care platform to treat polychronic mental and physical illness that was selected during the 2021 Mission for the Future challenge. This solution leverages AI to harness clinical, genetic, gut microbiome, food and behavioral signals to target the root cause of illness.

LG NOVA plans to continuously launch new businesses through ventures in LG’s future growth areas including digital health, clean tech and AI.

Promoting Symbiotic Growth in West Virginia
This year, LG NOVA is joining hands with West Virginia to revitalize the local economy by fostering future businesses while bringing instances of win-win cooperations to this U.S. state and the dynamic Appalachian region.

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The announcement introduced the NOVA West Virginia Investment Fund, which aims to drive USD 700 million into the region over five years through investment.

The decision to invest in West Virginia, which is over 2,000 miles away from LG NOVA in Silicon Valley, stems from the REINVENT LG initiative. Under the leadership of CEO Cho, LG has been carrying out various initiatives to redefine everything from its business structure and brand to the way it works. What makes West Virginia the perfect partner is its similar desire to reinvent itself to revitalize the local economy.

Primefocus Health also plans to work closely in the Mountain State.

Increasing Funds to Foster Potential Startups
LG NOVA is also significantly expanding the scale of its investment and speeding up its investments for the future. In 2023, it signed an agreement with Clearbrook, a global venture investment company, to expand the global startup development fund – NOVA Prime Fund.

Through collaborating with external experts to identify the latest technology trends, discover more innovative companies and offer comprehensive support, the company hopes to accelerate the growth of startups and discover opportunities for collaborations across various business areas.

A Talent Acquisition Outpost that Competes with Big Tech
LG NOVA also serves as an outpost to secure the best talent in Silicon Valley, an area dominated by big tech companies. By accurately reading future industrial trends and executing effectively, LG NOVA will be able to move one step ahead of the competition. At the same time, their challenging and brave attitude toward innovation will give a boost to the overall organizational culture.

Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, head of LG NOVA, is the perfect example of this. After founding an IoT startup, Rhee went on to serve in the U.S. government, as assistant director for Cyber-Physical Systems at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and Presidential Innovation Fellow at the White House.

Picture6-600x400.jpg(From left to right) Joshua Di Frances, the leader of LG NOVA’s incubation office, and Darren Sabo, CEO of Primefocus Health

Joshua Di Frances, the leader of LG NOVA’s incubation office, is another key executive with experience across various areas including medicine, business and the public sector. Di Frances studied neuroscience at Boston University, an MBA from MIT and built an impressive career at CVS Health and the White House. Since joining LG NOVA in 2021, he is working to build new businesses in digital health, cleantech and immersive/AI future technology with his team of entrepreneurs-in-residence.

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And, with the recent global boom in startups among AI engineering students, LG NOVA has been hosting the ‘Innovation Festival’ every fall to provide a space where innovative companies and investors can exchange information and expand.

LG NOVA will continue to seek out innovation from outside LG. To learn more about LG NOVA and its efforts to build, nurture and grow future-defining innovations, visit .

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