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?
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.