There is a new stadium in town. No, not Levi’s Stadium where the 49ers play, that one is already a year old. There is Avaya Stadium over near San Jose airport. 1123 Coleman Avenue if you want to be precise. This is a purpose-built soccer stadium where the San Jose Earthquakes play. Their season just started in February.
But on Thursday April 30th it is a different type of event: the Silicon Sunrise event for startups, hosted by Silicon Catalyst, with assistance from Alix Partners, JBK, Lonergan Partners and the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA). So if you have anything to do with silicon, which I’m sure you do, then come along.
The evening lasts from 5-8pm and there will be brief presentation by Silicon Catalyst at 6.15pm. It will actually take place in the bar, which is the largest outdoor bar in North America and has 45 different beers on tap. You can also tour the brand new stadium. Silicon Catalyst are expecting several hundred people to be there so it will also be a great networking event.
So who are Silicon Catalyst? They are an incubator for silicon-based hardware companies. There are many incubation programs for software companies, maybe two or three thousand around the world today. But really, all it takes for software incubators is a small space, and internet access and sometimes some good advice. The entrepreneurs provide the rest. It is not so easy for startup hardware companies. They need design tools. Manufacturing. IP. This is where Silicon Catalyst comes in.
Their website goes into more detail:Incubation in Silicon Catalyst lasts up to 24 months. We provide EDA tools, and IP when you start out. Our industry partners and mentors provide insight into your future markets, and will hopefully become your customers or acquirers. We provide PDK access and shuttle runs when you’re ready. And when you get those first chips back, you’ll find yourself in a fully equipped test lab. All of these services are coming from global technology leaders in our industry. We’ll do the rest too – if you need space, we have it in Silicon Valley. If you are located elsewhere, that it OK and you can still send staff temporarily or permanently to take advantage of the networks that make Silicon Valley what it is. And everybody likes a graduation party. Yours will be different, though. You’ll already know your customers and potential acquirers, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to meet with future investors along the way. In exchange for the effort, resources, and dedication, Silicon Catalyst receives common stock equity in each admitted startup. We believe common equity, rather than preferred, aligns us quite well with the interests of entrepreneurs. We’re your partner, and we’re on a adventurous journey together.
Silicon Catalyst have put together an ecosystem of partners to support the customers in the program. For example, Synopsys is donating free design tools, as is Keysight EEsof (was part of Agilent), and TSMC will provide free prototype shuttles. When has that ever happened before? They will announce some new partners at the event too.
If you are a starting a company in this area, here is how it works. Silicon Catalyst is focused on seed stage high technology companies developing intellectual property as a product, or complete solutions based on silicon. You must be building a strong team, proprietary technology, and pursuing real markets. Silicon Catalyst will invest up to $500K and help you secure other funding opportunities, but they often work with VC, strategic investors, and angel groups to add to this. Their industry partners also have the option to negotiate with you to invest initially or as you progress towards working prototypes and application demonstrations.
There is an online application process at the Silicon Catalyst website, but the easiest way to find out more this month is to come along to Silicon Sunrise and talk to them informally over a beer (or 45). If you are going to come then please RSVP here.
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