With semiconductor startups declining in number and VCs becoming more and more hesitant to invest funds in getting them off the ground, a different approach is needed to enable these innovative entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in the semiconductor market. According to Gartner, very few companies have formed over the past 3 years, and the rate of semiconductor startups per year is slowing down. What must be done to pool the resources needed to help these fledgling companies -- and help propel the semiconductor industry to new heights?
Looking to lend a helping hand, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA ), the voice of Singapore's semiconductor industry, today announced plans to further support the growth of emerging fabless semiconductor companies in Singapore. At its annual SSIA Summit  last week, 200 leaders of Singapore's semiconductor industry gathered to discuss how the emerging semiconductor ecosystem in Singapore is making an impact on the global semiconductor industry. Growth of emerging Singapore semiconductor companies was one major theme of the event. Following the Summit, SSIA announced initiatives to further strengthen Singapore's semiconductor startup environment -- and thus the industry as a whole.
Singapore's fabless semiconductor environment is unique, and features an ideal ecosystem for startups to incubate and launch their innovations. With foundries, contract test and assembly, available engineering talent, large, innovative multi-national companies (MNCs) strong research institutes and engineering universities, and market proximity -- Singapore plays a pivotal role in the global semiconductor industry. Many of the world's leading fabless semiconductor companies have operations in Singapore, including Broadcom, Marvell and MediaTek, however, until now, the ecosystem has not been ideally structured to support startups. With the support of the MNCs and the Singapore government, as well as access to funding and talent, the infrastructure is in place and the time is right for startups to find success.
"There is a real opportunity here to help the semiconductor industry grow stronger, and become more vibrant and supportive of growth and innovation," said Ulf Schneider , SSIA president. "Singapore, with its worldwide fabless semiconductor company revenue of $80 billion and an established semiconductor MNC capability, is the perfect place to facilitate the development of cutting-edge technology. Singapore has a strong semiconductor ecosystem that can be leveraged to enable a competitive advantage for startups."
SSIA announced three emerging semiconductor company growth initiatives:
- Involvement as an advisor in a semiconductor-focused company incubator to guide the creation of growth of Singapore-based fabless semiconductor startups
- Creation of an SSIA emerging company board with a focus on better meeting the needs of emerging semiconductor companies and facilitating coordination with established Singapore semiconductor companies
- Coordination with Singapore government agencies, EDB on infrastructure support initiatives for emerging semiconductor companies
For more information, visit www.ssia.org.sg .