Lam Capital Venture Competition Seeks Next-Gen Semiconductor Innovations
Mar 11, 2024
  • One-of-a-kind contest supports semiconductor startups with investment and exposure 
  • Previous winners share benefits of participating, networking with industry peers and investors 

Driving the news:  Lam Capital—Lam Research’s investment fund—identifies and supports disruptive technologies in the semiconductor industry. One way we do that is through Lam Capital Venture Competition—a contest for startups worldwide to showcase their innovative semiconductor work.

  • This June, the Lam will hold its third pitch competition with "Enabling Future Semiconductors” as the theme. 
  • The deadline to apply for the competition is April 1.  

Why it matters: The Lam Capital Venture Competition is the only pitch competition with a monetary reward that focuses on the semiconductor industry, making it a one-of-a-kind contest that supports semiconductor startups with investment and exposure.

  • The winning team is offered an investment of $250,000.  
  • The event brings together participants and investors with deep expertise in the semiconductor industry, providing a high-impact platform for startups to seek partnerships in a highly specialized and technical field. 

What they’re saying:We provide a valuable platform to showcase innovative technologies in the semiconductor space by connecting Lam and participants to opportunities to strengthen their competitive position,” says Kevin Chen, head of Lam Capital. “There are few investors who truly understand the semi world and are willing to invest in early stage semi companies. We’re thrilled to bring them together at this one-of-a-kind event.” 

Participants are excited about the competition for several reasons:  

  • They get to pitch their technology to top institutional and corporate venture capital judges from Lam, Microsoft, Intel, and others. 
  • Startup founders receive quality feedback on their technology and business.  
  • Participants gain exposure to the wider community of venture capitalist investors and receive valuable publicity.  
  • They get to develop important connections within the semiconductor industry. 
  • And, of course, the winner is offered an investment of $250,000. 

The big picture: Lam Capital invests in innovative companies addressing some of today's most challenging, high-impact problems. From semiconductor manufacturing systems to AI chips and Industry 4.0 technologies, Lam Capital invests in and partners with startups breaking ground in their respective industries.   

Previous Participants 

The 2019 competition featured entrepreneurs innovating in the AI/machine learning space. The eleven participants spanned confidential compute algorithms to analog in-memory compute chips to AI-assisted process technology. The competitors have gone on to raise nearly $100 million from investors, highlighted by Lam Capital portfolio company TetraMem.

The last time this competition was held was in 2022 in conjunction with Lam’s Technical Symposium, “Engineering a Greener Fab. That gathering shed light on technologies that advance environmental sustainability for the wafer fabrication equipment (WFE) industry, challenging experts to engineer a greener fab and address environmental problems.  

 The winning startup—xLightis developing a novel extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source, a key component of EUV lithography. xLight would go on to raise capital from one of the event’s judges at Playground Global.

Membrion, an electro-desalination membrane manufacturing company, was the competition’s runner-up. Due to that exposure Lam made a separate and subsequent investment in the startup the next year. “The symposium really is a great opportunity," says Greg Newbloom, founder and CEO of Membrion. “The rare opportunity to connect with investors did ultimately lead to success for the company, and that’s worth anyone’s time, especially as an entrepreneur.”