Foxconn Technology, the maker of Apple iPhones and iPads, is launching an investment fund to finance start-ups developing new kinds of wearable computers, according to two people familiar with the project.
Syntrend Creative Park, a Foxconn unit, would administer the NT$200 million (HK$52.4 million) fund and select participants for a trial in the first quarter, they said.
Operations at the incubator, providing offices and advisory services for start-ups, would open by the end of next year to create wearable and connected technologies, they said.
Foxconn is expanding beyond manufacturing devices for clients including Apple and Hewlett-Packard as slowing sales and increased competition challenge founder Terry Gou Tai-ming's target of 15 per cent annual revenue growth.
In June, Gou showed off a smart watch the company was developing and in October it acquired licences to offer fourth-generation wireless services in Taiwan.
Syntrend would open its Taipei Information Park by the fourth quarter of next year, the sources said.
In 2010, Foxconn won a government contract to build and operate a complex that will host retail outlets and product showcases from domestic and international brands.
Two floors of the building would be dedicated to the incubator, while start-ups chosen for the trial might be housed elsewhere, the sources said.
Up to 20 start-ups would be selected, with funding expected at NT$1 million each, they said.