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Chipmaker Arm has co-founded a ‘deep tech’ accelerator in Cambridge

Chipmaker Arm has co-founded a ‘deep tech’ accelerator in Cambridge

June 14, 2021: -U.K. chip designer Arm has co-founded a start-up accelerator in Cambridge to try to help young “deep tech” firms grew into the next generation of tech giants.

That is widely regarded as the “crown jewel” of the U.K. tech industry, Arm has co-founded the accelerator, called Deeptech Labs, with the University of Cambridge, private equity investor Cambridge Innovation Capital and venture firm Martlet Capital.

So-called deep tech companies aim to create a new intellectual property by breaking technological ground to solve complex problems.

Adam Bastin, VP of corporate development at Arm, said that Cambridge has “remained a critical hub of talent, creativity, and innovation” from Arm’s sooner days in a barn outside the city back in the 1980s.

“In co-founding Deeptech Labs, we’re pleased to support the next generation of game-changing technology companies that help them to access the world-class Cambridge technology ecosystem,” he said.

In exchange for a chunk of equity, 5% to 20% typically, Deeptech Labs offers start-ups £350,000, access to a three-month development program, and networking opportunities.

On Friday, Deeptech Labs CEO Miles Kirby, “I’ve seen a lot of deep tech founders who are maybe academics or engineers, and they’ve got a great technology, but they struggle to kind of go from a technology to a business.”

“You see a lot of companies that fail in that seed-to-series-A stage because they don’t find the right market fit, or they don’t find the right business model. We’re helping to address that,” he added.

Kirby, who previously worked at Qualcomm, said Deeptech Labs looked at nearly 900 companies for its starting cohort before picking five, AutoFill, BKwai, Circuit Mind, Concilio, and Mindtech.

For example, Circuit Mind aims to build a platform that enables engineers to design circuit boards in some hours with the help of AI software, whereas Contilio works on a 3D analytics platform that can be a help the construction industry understand, predict and deliver complex construction projects cheaper, faster and more sustainably.

There are many tech accelerators around the world. Y Combinator, where Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit were born, and are very famous, but Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and many other significant technology companies have similar ventures. While they have some benefits to founders, some have questioned whether entrepreneurs should sacrifice the equity or go it alone.

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