(Editor’s note: This business briefing is part of Dispatches’ Tech Tuesday series. We cover tech because so many of our highly skilled internationals are engineers, physicists and entrepreneurs.)
There are a number of unstoppable trends upending the tech world, and they all converge in Eindhoven. These include the rise of AI and the realization that chips are the new oil … and whoever innovates and fabricates rules the world.
Overlooked by most of the media, on 16 May, Lori Glover, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s most important research effort, briefed an SRO crowd of about 85 innovators at the AI Innovation Center on High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Glover went into detail about how the legendary American engineering school turns research into world-changing tech companies.
More than a talk, in “How to Collaborate with MIT,” Glover – managing director, Global Strategic Alliances at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) invited Eindhoven’s ecosystem to connect. (Glover was also a Fe+male Tech Heroes’ “Dare to Grow” conference keynote speaker.)
CSAIL is all about innovation at the intersection of disciplines. The largest MIT lab, CSAIL has 126 principal investigators, more than 1,000 students and includes the College of Computing, MIT’s only college. Each principal investigator runs a lab on a specific topic and each has students and other researchers in their group – anywhere from four to 40 people – with an $80 million research volume, Glover said.
CSAIL has 500 startups “that we even know of,” Glover said.
“Anyone can do a startup; they don’t have to tell anyone. We’re just a very, very innovative, entrepreneurial space where a lot of our tech really does become really great companies.”
That approach produces technology that’s beyond futuristic and a universe away from the Eindhoven approach of creating endless government-funded startup initiatives and endless bureaucratic paperwork.
At MIT, the mindset is, “Just do it.”
Recently, MIT researchers created a surgical robot smaller than her fingernail, made of sausage casings. Patients swallow a caplet containing the robot, the robot completes the surgery then is eliminated by the digestive tract.
“That came about because you have a preeminent mathematician and a roboticist really collide over coffee and talk about possibilities and things that they can do,” Glover said.
If we (as tech influencers) follow up, connecting MIT and Eindhoven with a formal Tech Sister City program, it could mean, well, a brand new day here. Because after all, globalization means sharing innovation and redistributing the talent, tech and capital to make all ecosystems stronger.
Here’s what we mean by globalization … businesses and consumers are fixating on what they can do with artificial intelligence/machine learning. That has resulted in Santa Clara-based Nvidia’s stock going through the roof. And that, in turn, has boosted both Eindhoven-based ASML and Taipei-based TMSC, both of which came out of Philips.
Nvidia does not manufacture its own chips. Instead, it relies on TSMC, the most advanced chipmaker in the world, to manufacture its GPUs. And TSMC relies on machines from ASML, which are required to manufacture the world’s most advanced semiconductors.
ASML is the only company in the world that can makes its $200 million extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machine. This tool is required to make 3 nanometer chips that are the industry standard, and soon, 2 nanometer chips. ASML’s stock price just hit close to an historic high of about 680 euros per share on 26 May.
Chips are the new oil. Now the question is, how will the Netherlands handle the massive wealth flowing in? Will it become Norway or Saudi?
HighTechXL partners with XTC from The Valley
In yet another major milestone for the Eindhoven tech ecosystem, HighTechXL – Europe’s only deep-tech venture builder and accelerator – is collaborating with Silicon Valley-based Extreme Tech Challenge to create a major tech forum.
HighTechXL and Extreme Tech Challenge will present Deep Tech Connect: A Deep Tech Innovation Forum on 28 June at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven Conference Center. Based in San Francisco, Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges.
However, this inaugural Deep Tech Connect will be a full-day innovation showcase and deal-flow exchange with roundtable sessions for deep-tech investors, not an XTC pitch competition, and will include the CEO of Europe’s most valuable deep-tech company.
And this is a big deal … Peter Wennink, president and CEO of ASML, will present the keynote address. ASML is the only company in the world that produces extreme ultraviolet photolithography machines, equipment essential to making the world’s most advanced computer chips. (See above).
ASML, founding partner of HighTechXL and a member of the Eindhoven Startup Alliance, was recently named Europe’s most valuable tech company with a market capitalization of more than $247 billion.
In addition to a rare public appearance by Wennink, the event will include a pitch showcase with select deep-tech startups, investor breakout sessions focusing on AI and big data, quantum computing, space, semiconductor, TechBio and networking sessions.
Seal the Deal
We love nothing more than a little role playing to help us understand complex issues … like fundraising.
Knowledge is power, so going into a negotiation with investors can be daunting. At Seal the Deal, three people who have weathered investment negotiations will illustrate potential conflicts that can crop up when startups look for investors.
You’ll learn how term sheet negotiations work in real life, with people in the ecosystem who have actually been there and done that.
Boudewijn Docter will play the role of entrepreneur. (You might have heard of him. He’s the founder of EFFECT Photonics.)
By the way, we’re getting emails and texts asking if all startups are welcome. They are, no matter where they are in terms of market readiness or geographical location. And not just startups, but anyone interested in entrepreneurship or fascinated by the VC world is welcome to attend.
MedTechXL event 8 June
Interested in joining a healthcare or medtech startup? If you’re driven by innovation and have a deep love for deep tech, you’re invited to join a venture team in the MedTechXL program organized by HighTechXL, together with BOM, Philips, ASML, TNO and High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
This program is to assess startup role candidates to join HighTechXL venture teams. They’re searching for CEOs, CBOs and CTOs to become co-founders and begin the venture-building program. This program is for everyone … those with a business background, tech experience or anyone interested in building a healthcare or med-tech startup.
The first step is joining the informal Info Session, set for 8 June, 9 a.m to 1 a.m at HTC 27 on High Tech Campus.
• how HighTechXL scouts for technologies
• how the venture building program works
• key positions they’re recruiting now to join teams
• how med-tech startups are funded
• important dates and next steps
RSVP for the event: [email protected].
Axelera AI raises $50 million
Axelera AI, the High Tech Campus-based startup producing hardware and software for AI at the edge, has just added investors for a Series A Round of $50 million. In the past several months, CDP Venture Capital, Verve Ventures and Fractionelera have joined the round, according to a news release. The consortium of investors was created specifically to fund Axelera AI. Innovation Industries increased its investment in the company, becoming the largest investor.
Axelera is the fastest growing semiconductor startup we’ve ever seen and is in the right category at the right time. Is this the next NXP? Or will they be acquired as they push into the U.S. market?
See more about the Eindhoven ecosystem here in Dispatches’ archives.