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The Startups for Sustainable Semiconductors Initiative

A mentorship program + pitch event for innovators with sustainable technologies that can help drive impact in the semiconductor industry in the areas of emissions, energy, and circularity (water and waste), and is organized by CVCs of major players in the semiconductor ecosystem

Semiconductor manufacturing is going through its sustainability transition - right now - and it can’t come soon enough.

  • Greenpeace estimates one semiconductor company consumes >4.8% of all electricity consumed in Taiwan, greater than that consumed in the country’s capital, Taipei.
  • A major memory semiconductor player consumes 50 billion gallons of water annually, equivalent to three full days of flow from the Colorado River.
  • A large chipmaker's fabs in 2019 consumed more than 3X as much water as Ford and produced 2X the hazardous waste.


Learn more about the Program

Announcement of 2023 Finalists - Don't miss the Finalist pitches and exhibits at SEMICON West on July 13, 2023.  Register now!

Announcement of 2023 Semi-Finalists

Episode 1:  What is the Startups for Semiconductor Sustainable Program - In this podcast Francoise von Trapp of 3D InCites, James Amano, Senior Director of EHS and Sustainability at SEMI, sheds light on the program, joined by 2022 SemiFinalists, Jon Herlocker, President and CEO at Tignis, Maher Damak, CEO and Co-Founder at Infinite Cooling, and Lester D'Cruz, Senior Director Product Management at ATONARP.

Episode 2:  Waste Water, Gas Purification, and Circularity - James Amano, Senior Director of EHS and Sustainability at SEMI, joined three alumni from last year’s program for a podcast conversation with Francoise von Trapp of 3D InCites. Greg Newbloom, CEO and Co-Founder at Membrion; Ben Hernandez, Founder and CEO at NuMat Technologies; and Daniel Alvarez, Founder and CEO at Purity ReSource each discussed how their company’s solutions are helping the semiconductor industry achieve its sustainability goals and the boost in visibility they received from the program.

Episode 3:  The Role of the Venture Capital Companies - Hear about the journey ahead for the semifinalists of the 2023 program. Read about it here.  Hear from two of the VCs who make this program tick. They 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, and the process and benefits of participating in the program. 

Why Apply?

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Gain mentorship from industry experts on how to translate and apply your tech to the semiconductor industry

Gain access to potential PoC and pilot partnerships with visibility across all major semiconductor players

Gain mentorship from CVCs for advice on pitching your tech to the semiconductor industry/VCs, Gain access to investment from both CVCs and VCs during the program and from the final pitch event

PR & other exposure opportunities associated with the program. Finalists to present at SEMICON West in July 2023 (San Francisco)

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Who should apply?

Any and all startups, academics, and innovators of any form who have a unique idea that can help advance sustainability for the semiconductor industry, even if you have not yet applied your idea to the semiconductor industry! Improving sustainability in semiconductor manufacturing is a major challenge, and we need all hands on deck.

Campaign Focus for Year 2

  • Abatement
  • Alternative chemistries for wafer processing
  • Emissions detection/reduction/accounting tools

 Decreased energy intensity for current and future production nodes:

  • new designs, materials or processes for fabrication throughput
  • improved thermal management
  • advanced power supply module
  • innovative sensors and management software
  • Water - Increased water recycling rates on existing infrastructure via:
    • digital water solutions (for fast/simple access to water consumption data)
    • in-situ separation (economic steam segregation and advanced separation inside or adjacent to a specific process tool)
    • drop-in efficiency (new membrane, filter, or technology that reduces the energy intensity of water treatment while fitting within existing treatment footprints)
  • Waste Management
    • recycling
    • waste stream reduction
    • materials and processes designed for circularity

Supporting Members

We’re solving these challenges now, and we’re looking for innovative startups to help solve these major problems faster.

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2023 Schedule





Office Hours

Dec  2022 - March 2023


Interested applicants can join one of these open sessions to ask questions about the program, requirements, opportunities for sustainability in the semiconductor industry.

By request 

Applications go Live!

January 17, 2023


Applicants will be requested for information on their technology, startup stage, traction, potential applications in the semi industry, and mentorship preferences if selected as a semifinalist

Application deadline

March 20, 2023


Deadline extended to March 20!

Semifinalists announced

April 10, 2023



Mentors assigned

April 17, 2023


Semifinalists will be selected from the pool of applicants and matched with industry and/or corporate VC mentors over 6 weeks for coaching on how to apply their tech to the semiconductor industry and general pitch advice to investors.

Pitch Event

Early June, 2023


Finalists notified

June 19, 2023



Finalists announced at SEMICON West

July 11-13, 2023

In-Person in San Francisco (optional)

Finalists to be featured at SEMICON West (presentation, table at at Startups for Semiconductor Sustainability pavilion)

Further Information on Initiative