Insights from industry

Accessing Investment at the Silicon Innovation Forum as a Startup

Ray Morgan, Director of Outreach, SEMI Americas, talks to AZoNano about startups, venture capitalists, and the upcoming Silicon Innovation Forum at SEMICON West 2015.

Last year we spoke to you about the current climate for start-ups accessing venture capital money? How has this changed over the last year for emerging semiconductor equipment and materials companies?

A year ago, the technology sector investment story was about how traditional VCs had moved away from semiconductor related investments in favor of higher potential ROI investments such as software, internet and biotech ─ and how strategic VCs were increasingly leading early-stage investments in semiconductors, equipment and materials.

Today there are signs that this dynamic may be changing with investments in semiconductors starting to increase - fuelled by the next growth engine for the semiconductor industry - The Internet of Things (IoT).  As enablers of the IoT ecosystem, semiconductor companies will play a critical role in providing the foundational capabilities required to develop innovative solutions, creating new opportunities for semiconductor startups.

What is the Silicon Innovation Forum doing this year at SEMICON West to address the problems that technology start-ups encounter?

At SEMICON West 2015 (July 14-16), the Silicon Innovation Forum will bring together industry leaders to give their insight directly to start-ups seeking investments and to provide feedback to their pitches. There will be an investor committee with executives from Applied Ventures, Intel Capital, Micron Ventures, Dow Chemical Company, TEL Venture Capital, Samsung Venture Investment Co. and BASF Venture Capital. The exhibition will be showcasing new and emerging companies with breakthrough and innovative technologies and products which will be on display for all industry members and investors to view. In addition, private networking opportunities are enabled for showcase exhibitors and investors.

What are the programs and highlights of the SIF this year?

The Silicon Innovation Forum (SIF) is a two-day conference that includes a one day start up investor forum and a one-day research forum. Start-up companies will be conducting presentations on seeking investment capital and compelling new technologies will be presented. Examples of new technologies include:

  • Low cost 3D printing technology for mass production
  • Radically new biomedical applications for semiconductor technology
  • Silicon thermo electronic technology enabling wearable devices to operate using energy from body heat

SIF attendees are generally early/mid-stage growth companies, entrepreneurs engaged in silicon innovation, investment professionals from the angel, venture, corporate and institutional communities, research institutions, universities, and R&D, purchasing, supply chain managers, and manufacturing senior executives from the microelectronics industry.

Can you tell us about the "Research and Innovation" agenda in the Silicon Innovation Forum on July 15?

The Advanced Research session on July 15 includes presentations from: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (iCAMR), SUNY Network of Excellence - Materials & Advanced Manufacturing, Novati Technologies, MIST Center, Micro/Nano Electronics Metrology at NIST, Texas State University and Georgia Tech Heat Lab. This is followed by an keynote and a reception at Innovation Village ─ an exclusive networking session for investors, SIF exhibitors and session partners.  Advanced registration is required.

What are the critical issues to be discussed during SEMICON West 2015?

From silicon to software to systems and everything in between, SEMICON West attracts the world's best technology companies from across the micro-electronics supply chain and beyond. The keynotes this year focus on challenge of Scaling the Walls of sub-14nm Manufacturing and the Internet of Things and the Next Fifty Years of Moore Law. The Semiconductor Technology Symposium (STS), co-located with SEMICON West, focuses on the big trends shaping near-term semiconductor technology and market developments in areas includes, advanced processes and materials, lithography, metrology, yield, design packaging, and test. STS addresses the crucial business and technology issues that companies need to understand in order to plan their investments for the next business cycle. In addition, there is a Sustainable Manufacturing Forum for three days.

Where can our readers find out more about what's happening at SEMICON West this year?

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, SEMICON West 2015 will feature over 180 hours of programs, 680+ exhibiting companies, and expects 26,000+ visitors. The Full Event Calendar gives a detailed schedule of the various events and when and where they take place. For the latest press news and trade media articles related to SEMICON West 2015, please visit the SEMICON West 2015 Press Page.

About SEMI

SEMI is the global industry association serving the nano- and micro-electronic manufacturing supply chains. Our 1,900+ member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit

Ray Morgan

About Ray Morgan

Ray Morgan, Director of Outreach & Membership, is responsible for industry outreach and SEMI member services for the America's market which includes activities focused on the creation of new programs and communities that enhance industry and SEMI Member value. This includes, most recently, the formation of the Silicon Innovation Forum, a strategic partnering and investment forum for early / growth stage companies.

Prior to joining SEMI in 2009, Morgan spent 19 years in engineering, sales and marketing roles with leading semiconductor equipment and software companies including Applied Materials, Canon, and Synopsys.

Ray holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Masters in Business from Chaminade University, Hawaii.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Stuart Milne

Written by

Stuart Milne

Stuart graduated from the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff with a first-class honours degree in Industrial Product Design. After working on a start-up company involved in LED Lighting solutions, Stuart decided to take an opportunity with AZoNetwork. Over the past five years at AZoNetwork, Stuart has been involved in developing an industry leading range of products, enhancing client experience and improving internal systems designed to deliver significant value for clients hard earned marketing dollars. In his spare time Stuart likes to continue his love for art and design by creating art work and continuing his love for sketching. In the future Stuart, would like to continue his love for travel and explore new and exciting places.


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