In January, I got under the skin of LG Nova — electronics and appliances giant LG’s internal startup incubator — and its search for a different way of doing a corporate accelerator. Today, NOVA (short for North American Innovation Center) is announcing the 20 startups it selected as part of its Mission for the Future global challenge competition. The companies represent new developments in the areas of Connected Health, Energizing Mobility, Smart Lifestyle, the Metaverse and “Innovation for Impact,” which the company describes as a general “socially impactful” tech category.
Each of these 20 companies will receive $100,000 each to work with LG to create a business framework for running a pilot with LG’s accelerator.
“Over the last few months, our work with the First 50 startups has helped us continue to refine our vision for the future as we look at new areas of growth for LG,” LG Electronics Senior VP for Innovation Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, who I also interviewed in January, said in an email. “We’re inspired by all of those who have participated to date with groundbreaking, thoughtful tech innovations to drive and contribute to our collaborative community and guiding principle of ‘outside-in’ innovation. With this announcement, we’re sharing the results of our ongoing work in engaging with the startup and entrepreneur community to create impactful technologies that will lead society into the future.”
Moving forward to the next phase in the areas of “Smart Lifestyles and Innovation for Impact,” LG Nova selected companies that “represent different aspects of people’s changing priorities on simplifying life and living better with personalized services”:
- Digbi, a healthcare-related company exploring the area of gut and genetic microbiome.
- a.kin, AI for the smart home designed to support activities of daily living for caregivers and families.
- Chefling is a smart kitchen assistant that offers recipes to cook based on ingredients from your groceries receipts.
In the Connected Health space, the center of innovation is shifting to patient-focused care and wellness, quickened by the pace of new technology adoption in healthcare over the past two years. With the focus on developing an advanced technology platform for providing services, LG Nova selected:
- MayaMD is a conversational digital human-AI health assistant, Leveraging AI to provide greater information to patients and providers for better health services.
- LifeNome is a precision and biological personalized enterprise health platform powered by genomics and AI.
- Mindset Medical is a camera sensor-based technology platform that can take health and biological readings through your personal device for medical diagnosis by doctors remotely.
In the XR category, LG Nova picked a trio of companies that offer “effective alternatives to health and wellness services” for patients through XR/VR/AR environments.
- XRHealth is a virtual care clinic that provides patient care and rehabilitation through VR/AR paired with clinicians and real-time data analytics.
- TRIPP is an XR wellness platform pioneering innovative health and wellness technologies that deepen connection to self through fully immersive alternate realities.
- NeuroTrainer improves focus and performance with virtual reality brain training.
In the Metaverse space, LG is pursuing a variety of applications with the intent to drive broader adoption of new immersive, interactive technologies and create greater business opportunities. Selectees:
- iQ3Connect provides an immersive 3D workspace technology and a no-code platform to enable distributed teams to cost-effectively work, collaborate and train from anywhere on any AR, VR or 2D device
- Snickerdoodle Labs is building a privacy-first, agnostic data-sharing layer where individuals own their data and the value it generates.
- YBVR brings live events to fans with the technology to quickly turn streaming live video content into immersive experiences.
Lastly, LG’s “Energizing Mobility” category focuses on the electric mobility sector and EV charging infrastructure ecosystem, paramount to achieving a more sustainable future:
- SparkCharge offers an affordable and convenient way for electric vehicle owners to charge their EVs without a direct- access charger at home or on the road.
- Driivz provides an energy management software platform that takes the complexity out of enabling commercial properties to provide EV charging capabilities to their customers.
I-EMS Group, Ltd. uses AI and blockchain to enable power optimization across smart cities, smart homes and e-mobility. Kardome’s 3D audio technology improves speech recognition accuracy in challenging soundscapes, transforming voice UI from a cloud-dependent experience to a secure real-time, and customizable user experience in any environment. Faction has a unique approach to driverless technology and light electric vehicles that introduces a more efficient way to move goods and people.
LG claims that the top 20 companies were culled from a group of more than 1,300 applicants.
UPDATE: This article has been updated for clarity, improving the precision of the descriptions of some of the startups featured here.