Silicon Catalyst targets British innovation with UK launch

·1 min read
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LONDON (Reuters) - Silicon Catalyst, an incubator of startup companies, has chosen Britain as the site of its first European operation, saying it hoped to capitalise on the UK's record of innovation.

SiliconCatalyst.UK will help semiconductor hardware start-ups accelerate ideas through prototype and production stages by providing advice, support, and access to strategic partners and investors, the company said, replicating a model it has deployed in Silicon Valley since 2015.

Britain has a growing number of silicon startups that are looking to emulate the success of ARM, the Cambridge-based company whose processor designs power nearly all the world's smartphones.

Alphawave, a Toronto-based silicon IP firm, listed in London last month with an initial value of 3.1 billion pounds ($4.4 billion).

Silicon Catalyst's UK offshoot will be headed by Ron Black, former chief of Imagination Technology, which like ARM also licenses processor technology, mainly in graphics and video.

"The UK has incredible innovation through its world-class universities, already significant startup community, and support from the government," said Black, currently based in the United States due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

"We look forward to working closely with the UK start-up ecosystem, bringing a small part of Silicon Valley to further accelerate entrepreneurial teams to their full potential," Black added.

Silicon Catalyst has admitted 38 start-ups and early-stage companies into its incubator programme since inception, helping them raise more than $200 million in funding in areas such as wearables, IoT (Internet of Things), artificial intelligence and machine learning, and biomedical devices.

The firm did not say where in the UK it would be located.

($1 = 0.7063 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by David Holmes)