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May 23, 2023

Podcast: Corporate VCs Share Outlook for SEMI Startups for Semiconductor Sustainability Program

The semiconductor industry, like many others, has come to expect technology innovations and breakthroughs from startups. When it comes to meeting sustainability goals and the push to net zero, it makes perfect sense for the industry to be hands-on in developing startups to find solutions to significant challenges, which reflects the genesis of the SEMI Startups for Semiconductor Sustainability program. Several corporate venture capital (VC) arms of SEMI member companies united to found the program, which identifies top startup candidates each year to guide in optimizing sustainability solutions for the semiconductor industry.

SEMI recently announced the semifinalists for the second year of the program and has grouped them in three categories: emissions, energy-efficiency, and circularity (water and waste) technologies.

ImageJames Amano, Senior Director of EHS and Sustainability at SEMI, joined two representatives from the program’s corporate VCs for a podcast conversation with Francoise von Trapp of 3D InCites. Jennifer Ard, Managing Director and Head of Investment Operations at Intel Capital, and John Wei, Investment Director at Applied Ventures LLC, describe the journey ahead for the semifinalists as they get advice on how to pitch investors for funding in a series of meetings leading up to the announcement of the finalists at SEMICON West 2023.

As companies advance in the program, they are coached by semiconductor industry experts and/or corporate venture capital mentors and given access to potential proof-of-concept (POC) opportunities and pilot partnerships as well as visibility to major semiconductor players. Ard and Wei explain how they came up with the concept for a start-up pitch event, and how they collaborated with SEMI and VCs across the supply chain to make it happen. Additionally, they highlight what SEMICON West attendees can expect to see on the startups program and how to learn more about the sustainable solutions of this year’s startups. Learn more at




The podcast follows the two previous 3D InCites episodes in this series that share highlights from participants in last year’s Startups for Semiconductor Sustainability program. Representatives from TignisInfinite Cooling and ATONARP cover their experiences in part one, while part two includes representatives from MembrionNuMat Technologies and Purity ReSource. Each discussed how their company’s solutions are helping the semiconductor industry achieve its sustainability goals, the boost in visibility they received from the program, and tips for this year’s applicants.

The startups program is part of the SEMI Sustainability Initiative, which brings together members from across the semiconductor value chain to find solutions to common sustainability issues and share best practices.

Sign up to stay current on Startups for Semiconductor Sustainability news.

Samer Bahou is director of Marketing Communications at SEMI.