We had the pleasure to talk to Lior Susan, VP Ventures and Head/Founder of Lab IX at Flextronics and Joshua Gold, Principal, Corporate Development, LabIX Ventures at Flextronics.
Here is an inside view
Lior, Joshua, Flextronics is a large company and very well known in the manufacturing industry. I did not realize how big and how diverse in terms of activities you were. Can you briefly describe Flextronics?
Flextronics is a Fortune 500 supply chain solutions company that offers design, manufacturing, distribution and aftermarket services to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Flex is based in the Silicon Valley (filing in Singapore) and is the second largest global Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS). Flextronics has manufacturing operations in over 30 countries, totaling approximately 27.2 million square feet and 200,000 employees.
Read more on Flextronics.
I visited the Lab IX and was amazed on how you are doing innovation. As founder of the lab IX, could you describe the lab IX and tell us what do you want to achieve?
LabIX is working to establish the new hardware ecosystem. We invest solely in hardware start-ups (technologies and also products) and provide hands on guidance (via access to Flex’s broad knowledge, experience and manufacturing base) to get them to commercialization, all the way from early stage prototyping to mass manufacturing. We are also driving innovation to the OEMs, introducing them to hardware startups and leveling the playing field for startups, fostering success for both groups. By partnering with LabIX and Flextronics, new and innovative startups can access the marketplace knowing the capital expense and expansion process has been greatly reduced.
I believe that you are focusing on a certain type of startups to help. Could you tell us more about which kind of startups you are focusing on at lab IX and why?
We invest all of our efforts on hardware starts ups. The majority are hardware technology companies. We feel that with hardware startups, we are able to bring Flex’s full experience, knowledge, engineers and designers. We are geography agnostic and have either invested in or are currently evaluating startups all across the US, Israel, China, Korea, Japan, Germany and elsewhere.
As I mentioned I really believe that you are doing the right things to help the startups. Could you give us your point of view on what makes the lab IX different from others?
Currently, there is no other, hardware only focused venture group that is backed by one of the world’s largest supply chain and manufacturing company. Our resources are unparalleled by any venture fund.