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Silicon Catalyst.UK calls for applications to ChipStartUK

22nd February 2024
Harry Fowle

Silicon Catalyst.UK has announced that the ChipStartUK incubator for early-stage UK semiconductor startups is now open for its next round of applications.

ChipStart UK is backed by the UK Government to provide early-stage semiconductor companies with the technical and commercial help they need to help bring new products to market. Following on from the successful first cohort launch in 2023, the second cohort of selected startup companies will start their nine-month incubation on June 1st 2024.

The £1.3m programme is delivered by Silicon Catalyst.UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Catalyst LLC, the world’s most experienced start-up accelerator, who have engaged globally with hundreds of entrepreneurial teams targeting the semiconductor industry. The first cohort of eleven semiconductor startups are currently halfway through their nine-month incubation, gaining access to bespoke chip design tools, commercial expertise and specialised mentorship from semiconductor industry veterans, and networking opportunities with prospective investors and commercial partners.

Minister Saqib Bhatti, Minister for Tech and Digital Economy said: “Semiconductors underpin our economy, national security and modern way of life, and are vital to our position as a science and tech superpower. That’s why our ambitious £1bn Semiconductor Strategy is designed to grow our semiconductor sector, secure our supply chains and protect national security. Silicon Catalyst.UK is helping us to deliver exactly that. Since launching the world’s first and only incubator for semiconductor design start-ups, they have helped UK firms attract close to £7m of additional investment, creating high-value jobs and training the next generation of UK chip business leaders.”

Semiconductor startup applicants accepted into the ChipStart UK incubator will get access to electronic design tools, design IP functional blocks, semiconductor foundry prototyping, packaging and test capabilities, at either no cost or significantly discounted, through the Silicon Catalyst ecosystem. Each ChipStart UK startup is assigned a dedicated Mentor, selected from the Silicon Catalyst advisor base for their relevance to the startup, who will work with the startup over the nine-month incubation period. The Mentors will help guide the startup teams through the semiconductor industry-specific training, held 3 times per month, and then help workshop these learnings to their startup’s specific needs. The intensive and valuable training is geared to create the next generation of semiconductor business leaders for the UK.

“The first call for ChipStart UK applications last year attracted 27 high-quality semiconductor startups from across the UK. To be eligible they must have raised less than £1m of private funding. We are now reaching deep into the UK semiconductor research and innovation base for the second cohort”, said Sean Redmond, Managing Partner of Silicon Catalyst UK Ltd, “The chosen few will have a fast track to success into the global semiconductor supply chain”. Applications are now being accepted via this page: The application deadline is midnight April 12th, 2024.

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