Semiconductor Startups on Kickstarter!

Semiconductor Startups on Kickstarter!
by Daniel Nenni on 10-19-2014 at 4:00 pm

 One of the challenges for the fabless semiconductor ecosystem is raising funds for new ventures. Of the things I do as a consultant, working with entrepreneurs on business and funding plans is by far the most interesting. Raising money is a big challenge since venture capitalists have largely ignored our industry of late. Kickstarter however offers a new source of funding and you do NOT have to give up 60% of your company!

According to Wikipedia:
Kickstarter is a globalcrowdfundingplatform based in the United States. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter has reportedly received over $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million donors to fund 135,000 projects, which include films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, and food-related projects. People who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards and special experiences in exchange for their pledges. This model traces its roots to subscription model of arts patronage, where artists would go directly to their audiences to fund their work.

The most notable Kickstarter campaign is the Coolest Cooler, which raised more than $13M from 62,462 backers in 52 days. The initial goal was only $50k! In the semiconductor realm the most recent Kickstarter project is ProfileMyRun: Run the Right Way, Run the Natural Way by Palo Alto Scientific:

“As an avid runner, I love to run. But I don’t enjoy the pain associated during the run. I started to ask myself, “There must be a better way to achieve a more natural and enjoyable run, less prone to pain and injury.” I looked around at the available solutions of how to improve runner’s performance, but found these programs to be either too expensive and accessible only to professional runners ($100K)…or too basic, providing only information about your steps and calories ($99), which really doesn’t help the runner attain an optimal run. That’s what inspired me to develop ProfileMyRun…The patented system that takes full advantage of the latest technology in running science, and brings it to everyday people, like you.” – CK Lam, Creator of ProfileMyRun


Full disclusoure: SemiWiki is an ardent supporter of this project. As I have mentioned many times before, IoT and the wearable market is the source of many new design starts, the lifeblood of the fabless semiconductor ecosystem, so I am pleased to do anything I can to help.

This specific project is near and dear to my feet. During my triathlete years running was always my weakest event. My one and only marathon time is 4:20 which barely beat Oprah Winfrey’s time of 4:29. There was no way I was going to lose to Oprah. Like many Baby Boomers I decided to “Just Do It!” without any professional training whatsoever and paid the price with a serious case of shin splints. In fact, just today I ran three miles and now I sit in not so silent pain and suffering. During my six mile Iron Horse Trail walk this morning I discovered my wallet had fallen out of my pocket so I literally sprinted three miles to retrieve it. I leave for Taiwan tonight so losing my wallet was not an option!

Please show your support for ProFileMyRun and the fabless semiconductor ecosystem. We have changed the world and will continue to do so with creative funding sources like Kickstarter, absolutely.

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