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Silicon Catalyst Announces University Initiative to further Semiconductor Industry Innovation

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
World-wide outreach in conjunction with leading academic institutions

Silicon Valley, California, April 7, 2021 – Silicon Catalyst, the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions, is pleased to announce the introduction of the company’s University Program. Many of the successful startups in the Silicon Catalyst Incubator were launched based on fundamental research originating at leading universities and research centers around the world.

The Silicon Catalyst University program has been established to unite academic institutions around the globe with the Silicon Catalyst ecosystem of Advisors, Partners and Investors. For these institutions, Silicon Catalyst will provide speakers and panel experts, judges for pitch competitions, mentoring, internships via our portfolio companies and in turn we anticipate discovering qualified start-ups to join our incubator.

During the trial launch of the University Program, Silicon Catalyst hosted events with world class institutions such as Stanford (see lecture here:
) Cornell University Praxis Center for Venture Development, the Cal Poly Center for Innovation, Georgia Tech and Imperial College London. The breadth of these events included a joint panel session, an investment overview for entrepreneurs, a course on how to build an IC company, placement of interns, mentoring of capstone projects. The University Program tailors each relationship to the specific needs of the institutions.

“Over the years Silicon Catalyst has been a remarkable partner for both our Masters students in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Integrated Innovation as well as with the Emirates-CMU i-Lab. Silicon Catalyst connects up aspiring entrepreneurs with hardware prototypes to showcase to senior executives. The proximity to our Silicon Valley campus allows the students to interact with hardware engineers and specialized equipment to hone the skills they need to get great jobs. It is a privilege to work with the many advisors, as well as entrepreneurs, in the Silicon Catalyst ecosystem. In the classroom, the guest lectures by Silicon Catalyst and their portfolio companies are always the highlight of my class,” stated Stuart Evans, Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Emirates-CMU i-Lab – Carnegie Mellon University.

Silicon Catalyst is a fine match for Georgia Tech and its CREATE-X program which encourages entrepreneurship from students. Georgia Tech is one of the leading engineering universities in the country with one of the largest electrical engineering programs, so the value of Silicon Catalyst will be accessible to a broad base of talent. While the engagement is just getting underway, Silicon Catalyst is already consulting with a startup at Georgia Tech,” stated Todd Cutler Silicon Catalyst Ambassador- Georgia Tech Alum.

“We have hosted several events with Silicon Catalyst, combining our ecosystems to provide an amazing platform to share our expertise in frontier technology and to expose the startups in our incubator to an impressive group of Silicon Catalyst Advisors. Through our relationship with Silicon Catalyst, Geegah, one of the companies launched from our Praxis Center, has recently joined the Silicon Catalyst Incubator,” Robert Scharf, Director of the Cornell University Praxis Center for Venture Development.

The mission of Silicon Catalyst is to lower the capital expenses associated with the design and fabrication of silicon-based IC’s, Sensors, and MEMS devices. For over five years, the Silicon Catalyst partner ecosystem has enabled early-stage companies to build complex silicon chips at a fraction of the typical cost. Silicon Catalyst has created a unique ecosystem to provide critical support to semiconductor hardware start-ups, including tools and services from a comprehensive network of In-Kind Partners (IKPs) to dramatically reduce the cost of chip development. The Portfolio Companies in the incubator utilize IKP tools and services including design tools, simulation software, design services, foundry PDK access and MPW runs, test program development, tester access, and banking and legal services. Additionally, the startups can tap into the world-class Silicon Catalyst network of advisors and investors.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the semiconductor industry, as the opportunities for applying the academically sourced innovations to real-world problems have exploded. Key application areas ripe for improvement include everything from cost-effective medical point-of-care, to smart farming, safe cities and 5G communications. Silicon Catalyst is honored to have these prestigious academic institutes participate in our launch event,” stated Laura Swan, Silicon Catalyst Partner and University Program Manager.

About Silicon Catalyst
It’s About What’s Next® - Silicon Catalyst is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating solutions in silicon (including IP, MEMS & sensors), building a coalition of in-kind and strategic partners to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of development. More than 400 startup companies have engaged with Silicon Catalyst since April 2015, with a total of 37 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. The Silicon Catalyst Angels was established in July 2019 as a separate organization to provide access to seed and Series A funding for Silicon Catalyst portfolio companies.

More information is available at and

Media Contacts
Silicon Catalyst Laura Swan, Partner and University Program Manager
Richard Curtin, Managing Partner