Future bleak for start ups?

1 min read

Start ups addressing the semiconductor market need to be smarter if they are to attract the funding they need. That was one of the main conclusions from a recent roundtable organised by Cadence.

Stephen King, ceo of Bristol based Phyworks, said: "I wouldn't want to raise money as a brand new start up. It has been difficult for a number of years because investors are not seeing a return." Jed Hurwitz, chief technology officer for Gigle Semicondutor, pointed out: "Funding hasn't dried up completely; investors will still fund the right opportunity. But what is the opportunity? VCs will not walk away from what has been for them a good industry. What they will be is more selective and the bar will be higher." Part of the problem, the panellists agreed, was an 'over supply' of start ups. The reason, claimed Mirics' ceo Simon Atkinson, is the rise of the foundry. "This has led to an explosion in the number of start ups and the vast majority of these have to fail," he contended. Hurwitz pointed out that start ups have to pick their market. "Too many have started because of technology. But they have to ask whether they are solving problems that need to be solved. The market is now being driven by solutions and start ups need to be solution providers." Meanwhile, Hurwitz bemoaned the shrinking electronics talent pool in the UK and what he believes is the poor state of UK universities. "Few people in universities recognise they are training the future. UK universities are not interested in ISSCC presentations, for example, and I'd like to find a way to change that. But, if we're going to have a sustainable industry, we have to bring through a flow of people and put them in real jobs."