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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

Jim Hogan’s Next “Crossing the Chasm” Interview to be Hosted by EDAC December 9

December 1st, 2015 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

EDAC_EDAC Connected Logo_December 2015“Crossing the Chasm: From Technology to Valuable Enterprise,” created by Jim Hogan, who will serve as impresario and interviewer, will be hosted by the EDA Consortium Wednesday, December 9, beginning at 6 p.m. Finishing this year’s series of interviews with entrepreneurs will be John Lee, founder of Gear Design Solutions, now general manager and vice president of the Apache Business Unit at ANSYS. John will offer a look at his experience as a serial entrepreneur within the Semiconductor, EDA and IP markets.

I had a chance to catch up with Jim, a tireless champion of EDA, last week to find out what inspired him to do these interviews and what we can expect in 2016. Our Q&A is below.

John Lee

John Lee is general manager and vice president of the Apache Business Unit at ANSYS.

What gave you the idea to do a series of interviews with successful entrepreneurs?

EDAC always had an emerging company committee. As I did a few seminars for EDA, I saw the audience really responded to interviews with folks that had exited their companies successfully.  Kathryn Kranen was then the chair of EDAC. She liked the idea of the proposed series of talks and we went with it.

Generally, we do a couple of them a year. Kathryn herself was one of them last year. This year we are finishing with John Lee. In the first half (of 2016), we are planning another one with Ajoy Bose (founder and former CEO of Atrenta, now part of Synopsys). I think it’s important to hear these success stories as told by the people that accomplished them.

Have you found a central theme or desire that drove each of them to become entrepreneurs?

It’s always about a vision. The vision as they see it is to bring disruptive technologies and product to serve a customer need. Their stories are always different on how they got there. It is important to hear about their struggles and what they did to overcome them.

Has anyone said something unexpected that surprised you about the entrepreneurial experience?

I’m always surprised. For example, I have been wrong many times when someone has presented me with a business plan. If I decline an investment or involvement, it is interesting to see how they have proved me wrong.

Specifically, I think someone like (Dean Drako at) IC Manage is a great example. They are very successful and look to be expanding their footprint. As a guy that did Cadence’s framework and design management, I would have thought it was very difficult to build a big and profitable business. They proved me wrong once again.

Jim Hogan

Jim Hogan is a well-respected semiconductor design and manufacturing industry executive.

What can we expect in 2016?

The Semiconductor consolidation will have impact. The large EDA companies will be challenged to find growth, I think. It has already been difficult for startups to find customers with time and money to consider start-up alternatives. However, you never know. There will be casualties, but there will also be winners.

My personal focus will be on the system end of EDA and adjacent software opportunities. There will always be opportunities in the implementation part of EDA, but these will be specific technologies that address the leading-edge process challenges. In IP, the ability to ship product and have it verify quickly in the SoC or system will be interesting.  So lots to do and I’m looking forward to the new companies that will emerge.

Details on the Evening, Registration Information

We hope you can attend what promises to be an interesting and engaging evening. And, do bring questions for Jim and John.

It will be held from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., starting with networking and refreshments at the EDA Consortium/SEMI Global Headquarters, 3081 Zanker Road, San Jose, Calif.

While I am unable to attend, EDAC’s able and long-serving Emerging Companies Committee Chair Steve Pollock, organizer of the evening, will serve as emcee. Julie Rogers, EDAC’s director of Marketing and Operations, will be there as well.

The event is open to all EDAC member companies free of charge and begins with a networking session with food and beverages. Non-EDAC members are invited to attend for a fee of $40 payable via PayPal when they register, or at the door.

To register, go to:

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