2 min read.Updated: 21 Feb 2019, 03:12 AM ISTYuji Nakamura,Bloomberg
Sony may invest, strike an alliance, provide office space or support the startups with its own marketing and sales expertise
After years of restructuring, Sony is again looking for innovation under chief executive officer Kenichiro Yoshida
Tokyo: Sony Corp., once known for innovations like the Walkman, will begin to back entrepreneurs outside the company with money, marketing support and more as it seeks more breakthroughs.
The Tokyo-based company said on Wednesday it would open up an internal accelerator program to external entrepreneurs, including a partnership with Tokyo University under which students can turn ideas into businesses.
Depending on the opportunity, Sony may invest, strike an alliance, provide office space or support the startups with its own marketing and sales expertise. It may also acquire the businesses.
“All kinds of people should have a chance to be an entrepreneur, that’s our slogan," said Shinji Odashima, head of Sony’s accelerator program, at an event in Tokyo. “We’ll offer the know-how and the environment of our enterprise. Through these things, we want to realize the vision of creators."
After years of restructuring put it back on solid financial footing but gutted thousands of engineering jobs, Sony is again looking for innovation under chief executive officer Kenichiro Yoshida.
This month, the Sony cut its annual revenue forecast and reported weaker profits in the PlayStation business, triggering the sharpest share drop in more than three years.
A week later, the company announced its largest stock buyback ever to support the shares.
The initiative, now known as Sony Startup Accelerator Program, was started in 2014 by Yoshida’s predecessor, Kazuo Hirai, to encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees.