King’s College, Cambridge.
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LONDON – British chip designer Arm has co-founded a new start-up accelerator in Cambridge to try to help young “deep tech” companies become the next generation of tech giants.
Widely regarded as the ‘crown jewel’ of the UK tech industry, Arm has co-founded the accelerator, known as Deeptech Labs, with the University of Cambridge, private equity investor Cambridge Innovation Capital and venture firm Martlet Capital. .
So-called deep technology companies aim to create new intellectual property by breaking new ground in technology in an effort to solve complex problems.
Adam Bastin, Arm’s vice president of corporate development, said in a statement that Cambridge has “remained a critical center of talent, creativity and innovation” since Arm’s early days in a barn on the outskirts of the city earlier in the decade. 1980.
“By co-founding Deeptech Labs, we are pleased to support the next generation of innovative technology companies by helping them access Cambridge’s world-class technology ecosystem,” he said.
In exchange for a share of capital, typically 5-20%, Deeptech Labs offers startups £ 350,000 (US $ 495,000), access to a three-month development program and networking opportunities.
Miles Kirby, CEO of Deeptech Labs, told CNBC on Friday: “I’ve seen a lot of deep-tech founders who may be academics or engineers, and they have great technology, but they really struggle to move from a technology to a business.”
He added: “You see many companies that fail in the stage from seed to series A, because they do not find the right market or do not find the right business model. We are really helping to address that. “
Kirby, who previously worked at Qualcomm for 18 years and ran an accelerator while there, said Deeptech Labs examined about 900 companies for its initial cohort before choosing five: AutoFill, BKwai, Circuit Mind, Contilio and Mindtech.
Circuit Mind, for example, aims to build a platform that allows engineers to design circuit boards in just a few hours with the help of artificial intelligence software, while Contilio is working on a 3D analysis platform to help the construction industry to understand, predict and deliver cheaper, faster and more sustainable complex construction projects.
While London is home to most of the UK’s tech companies, Cambridge has spawned some of the country’s most innovative companies that have caught the eye of US tech giants: Apple bought the tech firm voice provider VocalIQ in 2015 to improve Siri, while Amazon bought Evi to power Alexa in 2013. The city is also home to fast-growing startups such as Darktrace, as well as major research labs from Amazon and Microsoft.
There are dozens of technology accelerators around the world. Y Combinator, which is where Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit were born, is perhaps the most famous, but Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and many other big tech companies have similar companies. While they clearly have some benefits for founders, some have wondered whether entrepreneurs should sacrifice capital or go it alone.