Last chance, startups! ASML, one of the world’s cutting-edge tech companies, wants you

As we’ve stated many times before, Eindhoven is the low-profile, ultra-high tech capital of the world.

Now, if you think your startup has what it takes to play in this rarified, high-stakes environment, this might be your chance to collaborate with a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing technology.

50713398-06f1-4ed0-8dd0-18e6056280d5-largeGet in the Ring, ASML and the HighTechXL hardware accelerator are looking for startups with the potential to integrate into the world of high tech manufacturing and systems.

This is a really big deal because ASML literally owns the photolithography sector, building the equipment that makes the semiconductor industry possible. The company probably hires more physicists than any other in the Netherlands because photolithography uses energy waves in the visible light spectrum – not unlike photography – to etch microcircuitry onto silicon chips.

Let’s get right to the their challenge for which you must apply by 9 January. (Sorry for being late on this.)


ASML is looking for startups with innovations that can move the needle in the following areas:

  • Semiconductor / Photonics / M(O)EMS: e.g. manufacturing processes and equipment, advanced packaging for (3D-)integrated circuits, design, inspection technologies
  • Data & IoT: e.g. cloud, mobile and IoT solutions for high tech manufacturing
  • Large area electronics: e.g. displays, PCB’s, photovoltaics, sensing systems, printed electronics.
  • High tech industrial manufacturing systems: e.g. robotics, 3D-printing, high precision mechatronics.



  • Pilot contract with ASML (customized based on joint preferences)
  • Wildcard selection round HighTechXL business accelerator with 200 hours of hands-on expert support from ASML specialists in engineering, IP and supply chain
  • Exclusive additional coaching & feedback from ASML experts
  • Access to ASML’s large network of suppliers and customers
  • Introduction to ASML’s New Business Development department to determine the route forward between ASML and your startup.


You should:

  • have a working prototype or demonstrator;
  • be able to realize a usable product or service in the next 2 years;
  • be able to pitch through video conferencing or face-to-face on the proposed date


The deadline for applications is January 9th. Ten finalists will be selected and invited for the finals on January 31st at ASML headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The winner will be announced during the final pitch event!

You can apply here

Okay, a little background for the many, many techpats who’ve never heard of ASML or Eindhoven.

To say ASML is the industry leader laughable understatement.

Early in 2016, analysts for Wall Street ratings agency Fitch stated ASML has claimed at least an 80-percent market share of photolithography revenues.

“Investments in EUV technology, holistic lithography and product improvement roadmaps for existing DUV technology are likely to extend its lead,” according to Fitch’s bond rating.

To understand how amazing that is, in 2001, two Japanese camera companies owned the industry. Nikon had a 41.6 percent share of the photolithography market, compared to 34.8 percent for Canon and only 22.4 percent for ASML, according to industry publications. By 2011, ASML’s market share was 57 percent, with Nikon dropping to 27.8 percent and Canon’s share only 15.2 percent.

TSMC-ASML-640x353Bear in mind that each ASML unit shipped costs at least $50 million, and comes with a team of ASML techs to assemble.

In its Q3 2016 earnings report, ASLM reported total top-line revenue of about 7 billion, which extrapolated out for the year would be about $30 billion. Which makes it a small-to-mid-sized corporation in global terms. It also reported 17-percent revenue growth for the quarter, along with a 22-percent margin … which, we’d like to note, is insane. In a good way.

As they point out on the Get In The Ring website, ASML “is the reason your smartphone today contains more computing power than a supercomputer just 2 decades ago.”

I mean please, is that cool or what???

About Get in the Ring:

Get in the Ring is a global podium for startups to connect with investors and fans, who can contribute in knowledge, network, funding and time.

About High Tech XL:

The HighTechXL Accelerator is an elite program designed exclusively for hardware entrepreneurs. In just a couple of years, it’s produced some of the Netherland’s most promising startups such as Usono.


Website | + posts

Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.

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