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[May 01, 2015] Silicon Catalyst, The Semiconductor Incubator, Announces Initial Three Startups

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(Marketwired - May 1, 2015) - Silicon Catalyst, the world's only startup incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions, based in Silicon Valley, CA, announced today the selection of its first startups and the global opening of applications for admission into the incubator. Over 700 Silicon Valley technology and business leaders attended the Silicon Sunrise Startup Event at the newly opened Avaya Soccer stadium, home to the San Jose Earthquakes.

The initial startups admitted into the Silicon Catalyst incubator are ACP Semiconductor, BuzzTagg and zGlue. ACP Semiconductor develops power conversion and power management integrated circuits for high volume markets such as Smart Energy in the Internet of Things (IoT). BuzzTagg provides low-cost RFID alternatives for enterprise environments such as factories and hospitals. zGlue is developing a unique active interposer solution to enable IoT through 3D chip stacking in an affordable, small form factor.

Building upon its founding partners, Synopsys, TSMC, Keysight and imec, Silicon Catalyst welcomed its newest participants: Advantest, the leader in automated test equipment (ATE) solutions, PDF Solutions, Inc., provider of yield improvement technologies and services for the IC manufacturing product life cycle and Autodesk is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. All of the participants are providing access to their relevant capabilities and services to address the typical design, prototyping, test and characterization needs of Silicon Catalyst startups.

The initial incubator site is located at the Advantest facility on Zanker Road at North First Street in San Jose, CA.

Michael Malone, noted technology writer who has extensively covered the Silicon Valley technology scene and its leading companies, conveyed to the audience the importance of continuing to re-invent the semiconductor innovation model. "Now, at the fiftieth anniversary of Moore's Law, the moment is right to remember where we came from, the engine of the digital age, the wellspring of everything we have accomplished in this Valley. And what better way to do that than to begin growing the next generation of semiconductor startups -- the companies that will lead us into Silicon Valley's next great era. Silicon has at last returned to Silicon Valley. This is a moment to celebrate -- and in light of what is to come, to remember. Congratulations, Silicon Catalyst."

Silicon Catalyst's chairman Mike Noonen announced Daniel Armbrust as the organization's new CEO and introduced the startup staff to the attendees. "We are poised to re-energize the semiconductor startup community and ecosystem," said Armbrust. "We are helping startups address challenges moving from idea to realization. Our incubator supplies startups with facilities, funding, tools, mentors, networking and marketing acumen to successfully launch their companies' novel technology solutions."

The success of the Silicon Sunrise Startup Event was due in part to the generous support of AlixPartners, Lonergan Partners, Jack B. Keenan, Inc. and Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).


[Feb 23, 2015] Silicon Catalyst Announces Partnership With imec to Support Semiconductor Startups

SILICON VALLEY CA--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2015) - Silicon Catalyst today announced a partnership with imec to support semiconductor solution start-ups. While there are many incubators and accelerators for software and even some for hardware, Silicon Catalyst is the world's first focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions. Imec is not only one of the world's leading nanotechnology research organizations but also one of the most advanced and comprehensive design services partners.

Imec's IC-link division has an extensive industrial experience that makes it a trusted partner to provide technical support in the areas of layout, prototyping, fabrication, and the testing of advanced electronic products. Imec IC-link has over 25 years of experience running the Europractice IC fabrication program and has demonstrated experience and success with 500 design tape-outs per year, engaging with over 300 companies and 700 research institutes.

The Silicon Catalyst model is unique:

  • Build a coalition of companies to help start-ups reduce the complexity of semiconductor innovation
  • Incubate a select number of start-ups each year and provide them the tools and support needed to get to work, rather than spend precious time hunting for funding
  • Assemble a world-class network of mentors to guide these entrepreneurs

Key to the Silicon Catalyst business model is providing access to mentors and partners who believe it is in the interest of the entire industry to support start-ups. Imec shares this belief and joins Silicon Catalyst's founding partners EDA and IP provider Synopsys; test & measurement equipment company Keysight; and pure-play semiconductor foundry TSMC.

"Silicon Catalyst's vision to reduce the cost of innovation for start-ups meshes perfectly with imec's mission to work with global partners to deliver industry-relevant technology solutions. Through this partnership, Silicon Catalyst will promote imec IC-link's capabilities and services to its incubation companies and support imec IC-link to extend its activities in the USA," said Steve Beckers, vice president and general manager imec IC-link.

"I know firsthand that imec is a remarkable source of semiconductor expertise, innovation and ingenuity and that the people of imec are a delight to work with", said Mike Noonen, chairman and co-founder of Silicon Catalyst. "We are thrilled to partner with imec IC-link to support and mentor the next generation of semiconductor entrepreneurs."

Traditional investors have mostly abandoned early-stage semiconductor investing however, Silicon Catalyst and its partners believe this is one of the most exciting times to be innovating with semiconductors. The reason is that the mega-trend opportunities in IoT, biotech, wearables, energy, transportation, and mobile will all have new semiconductor innovation at their core. In addition, most of these markets do not require leading-edge technologies and enormous R&D budgets to create novel and valuable products. Furthermore, since upfront costs are reduced, start-ups will become much better investments and follow-on funding will go to true innovation and value creation. Silicon Catalyst expects to see renewed interest from angel, strategic and venture investors as a result.


[Dec 09, 2014] Introducing Silicon Catalyst, the First Incubator for Semiconductor Solution Startups

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2014) - Silicon Catalyst today launched the industry's first incubator for semiconductor solution start-ups. While there are many incubators and accelerators for software and even some for hardware, this is the world's first focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions. Silicon Catalyst will address the challenges faced by start-ups when going from idea to company formation to prototype, along with the industry-wide concern about the lack of fund-worthy start-ups to drive novel innovation and growth.

The Silicon Catalyst model is unique:

  • Build a coalition of companies to help start-ups reduce the complexity of semiconductor innovation
  • Incubate a select number of start-ups each year and provide them the tools and support needed to get to work, rather than spend precious time hunting for funding
  • Assemble a world-class network of mentors to guide these entrepreneurs

Key to the Silicon Catalyst business model is providing access to mentors who believe it is in the interest of the entire industry to support start-ups. The first of these mentoring companies include EDA and IP provider Synopsys; test & measurement equipment company Keysight; and pure-play semiconductor foundry TSMC.

In addition to these companies, Silicon Catalyst is in discussions to add to its rapidly expanding network with companies from the semiconductor ecosystem ranging from enablement to fabless to systems companies that will help mentor qualified start-ups admitted to the incubator.

"A vibrant start-up community is a valuable component in the development of any business and the multi-trillion-dollar industries that we enable," commented Aart de Geus, Chairman and co-CEO, Synopsys. "Synopsys is proud to be a Silicon Catalyst founding partner to support semiconductor solution start-ups."

"Since the very beginning of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs such as Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard have started small companies with large dreams," said Todd Cutler, General Manager of Keysight EEsof EDA. "Keysight is proud to help the next generation of entrepreneurs launch towards achieving their dreams."

"The launch of this startup incubator parallels TSMC's emphasis on a 'Grand Alliance' of collaborating companies in the semiconductor industry to increase innovation," said Rick Cassidy, President, TSMC North America. "TSMC is pleased to join the efforts of Silicon Catalyst to help the next wave of fabless semiconductor start-ups achieve success."

Industry Veterans Support Silicon Innovators
Silicon Catalyst's managing team is made up of semiconductor industry veterans who saw the need for a new approach to helping entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality. They have brought their experience and network together to launch this venture. They are:

  • Dan Armbrust, formerly CEO of Sematech and IBM Microelectronics manufacturing executive
  • Mike Noonen, board director at Ambiq Micro, Adapteva and Kilopass, formerly EVP at GlobalFoundries and NXP Semiconductors, Global Semiconductor Alliance board director and National Semiconductor executive
  • Rick Lazansky, board director Sand Hill Angels; Board Director i-GATE Innovation Hub; serial entrepreneur and founder Vantage Analysis Systems, Denali Software; former VP of Engineering at Xpedion Design Systems, acquired by Agilent

Traditional investors have mostly abandoned early stage semiconductor investing however, Silicon Catalyst and its partners believe this is one of the most exciting times to be innovating with semiconductors. The reason is that the mega-trend opportunities in IoT, biotech, wearables, energy, transportation, and mobile will all have new semiconductor innovation at their core. In addition, most of these markets do not require leading-edge technologies and enormous R&D budgets to create novel and valuable products. Furthermore, since upfront costs are reduced, start-ups will become much better investments and follow-on funding will go to true innovation and value creation. Silicon Catalyst expects to see renewed interest from angel, strategic and venture investors as a result.

Silicon Catalyst operations are expected to begin in Silicon Valley, California in the first quarter of 2015. Startups are anticipated to come from not just Silicon Valley but from all around the world. Silicon Catalyst plans to collaborate with local incubators to enable these entrepreneurs to leverage the Silicon Catalyst partner resources without needing to relocate. In this way, Silicon Catalyst plans to be a gateway to Silicon Valley's robust resources and customers while keeping innovation frugal and successful.


Daniel Armbrust
Industry Relations, Partner
dan@sicatalyst.com

 

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