Semiconductor Startups 2020: Back to the Future

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Semiconductor Startups 2020: Back to the Future
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Sloan 380X
Rick Lazansky - Silicon Catalyst
Abstract / Description: 

The climate for semiconductor startups has changed dramatically over the course of the past few years. Technical innovation in the areas of AI/ML, 5G and computing on the edge continue to garner the interest of the investment community, but the sources of capital have changed dramatically since the “gold rush” days of the past, as the venture community has focused on building unicorns, which for the most part is not a characteristic of the semiconductor industry.

What’s in store for 2020 and the coming decade? Where is the innovation going to come from? Can government-funded initiatives deliver results in a timely manner? How does the continuing geo-political turmoil impact the near-term and long-term results? What is the impact of corporate venture funding? How can early-stage semiconductor startups break through to achieve business success?


About Silicon Catalyst:

It’s About What’s Next® - Silicon Catalyst is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating solutions in silicon, building a coalition of in-kind and strategic partners to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of development. Close to 300 startup companies have engaged with Silicon Catalyst since April 2015, with a total of 26 startup and early-stage companies admitted to the incubator. With a world-class network of mentors to advise startups, Silicon Catalyst is helping new semiconductor companies address the challenges in moving from idea to realization. The incubator/accelerator supplies startups with a path to design tools, silicon devices, networking, access to funding, banking and marketing acumen to successfully launch and grow their companies’ novel technology solutions. For more background information, see:   

About Rick Lazansky:

Rick Lazansky is a serial entrepreneur, active investor, and coach of many startups. Rick was inspired to start Silicon Catalyst in 2015 by the growth of software startups, supported by incubators, accelerators, and open source software, and the need for ‘hard’ technologies to have the same level of ecosystem support. Rick has invested in more than 40 startups as an angel investor with Sand Hill Angels and as an LP in several venture funds. He had coached startup projects and classes at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, UC Santa Cruz and Berkeley. His startups include Vantage Analysis Systems, Denali Software, and RedSpark. He has served as a Board Director at three other incubators – i-GATE Hub in Livermore, Batchery in Berkeley, and Barcelona Ventures in Catalonia. He has a BA/BS in Economics and Information Science and an MS in SC/CE from Stanford.


About Pete Rodriguez:

Pete Rodriguez has over 35 years of experience in the Semiconductor industry.  Pete is currently CEO of Silicon Catalyst, he is also on the board of Hysai, advisory board of Alphacore and Harvest Management Partners and an observer on the boards of Mentium Technologies, Espre Technologies and Owl.AI. Pete was formerly VP & GM of Interface and Power at NXP Semiconductors. Prior to NXP Pete was CEO of Exar Corporation, CEO of Xpedion Design Systems, Chief Marketing Officer at Virage Logic, Major Account Manager at LSI Logic and Program Manager at Aerojet Electronic Systems. He spent twelve years as an entrepreneur with three different startups and has raised over $30 Million in venture capital.  He retired from the US Naval Reserves with the rank of Commander. Pete has served on public, private, advisory and non-profit boards of directors.  He is a graduate in strategy and policy of the Naval War College. Pete has an MBA from Pepperdine University, an MSEE from Cal Poly Pomona, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology