A leading Silicon Valleyn incubator is setting up a UK office to support local semiconductor and deeptech startups. 

Ron Black, previously CEO of Imagination and Rambus, and veteran EDA executive Sean Redmond will head up SiliconCatalystUK. Silicon Catalyst was founded in Silicon Valley in 2014 as a mentoring and networking company, partly in response to a lack of venture capital funding. It provides startups with advice and lower-cost access to essential suppliers who in return get to engage with pre-evaluated startups.

One company that joined the Silicon Catalyst incubator in California but can now be supported in the UK is Trameto in Wales. Other UK-based IKPs include TCAD specialist SemiWise. and low-power memory IP provider SureCore.

For early-stage startups interested in applying to the Silicon Catalyst accelerator the deadline for the next round of applications is July 2, 2021. Silicon Catalyst UK will host a webinar on Wednesday, June 23. The webinar will feature presentations by Vaysh Kewada, CEO of Salience Labs and Huw Davies, CEO of Trameto, both UK companies in the Silicon Catalyst Portfolio, as well as in-kind partners. Salience Labs, formed in 2020, is a spin-off from Imperial College developing a hybrid photonic-electronic IC for AI processing.

“Silicon Catalyst has opened the doors to Silicon Valley for us,” said Davies at Trameto. “In addition to affordable access to high-value In-Kind Partners like TSMC, Synopsys, and Advantest, Trameto has been strongly supported by experienced semiconductor industry veterans such as Mark Ross, ex-CTO of Cypress Semiconductor, as technology contributor and advisor, and John East, ex-CEO of Actel, as advisor.”

The incubation model has helped startups with the design and fabrication ICs, sensors and MEMS by providing advanced design tools and services from a network of “in-kind partners” and services that extend out to foundry PDK access, MPW runs and legal and banking services.

“We look forward to working closely with the UK startup ecosystem, bringing a small part of Silicon Valley to further accelerate entrepreneurial teams to their full potential,” said Black, in a statement. “We will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 and invite members of the semiconductor value chain to attend and learn more about our comprehensive accelerator program.”

“I am delighted to be working with Ron to help launch Silicon Catalyst in the UK. Having recently worked closely with the UK government, industry, and universities to guide their industrial digital strategy, this launch is a great opportunity to put that work into action for UK semiconductor startups,” said Redmond in the same statement.

ARM in Cambridge is one of the in-kind providers allowing free access to ARM intellectual property under its ARM Flexible Access for Startups programme. Agile Analog in Cambridge is Silicon Catalyst’s latest in-kind partner.  

Silicon Catalyst launched a similar office in Israel in 2019 and formed a joint-venture with a Chinese company in Chengdu in 2018.  More than 400 start-up companies have engaged with Silicon Catalyst since April 2015, with a total of 38 startup and early-stage companies being selected for admission to the accelerator.

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