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.
About Silicon Catalyst
Silicon Catalyst is 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.
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.
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