Arm’s Startup Day Shows its Support for Future Hardware Startups

July 27, 2021 by Kimber Wymore

Finding new tech often means looking at startups. To support this critical aspect of the tech industry, Arm launches its "Startup Day" event. What is it, and what were some key takeaways?

New and progressive ideas, especially when it comes to technology, help keep the industry moving forward and on its toes. Plus, you never know where innovative ideas can come from. Often, for the tech industry, startups can be a great place to start. Especially since startup innovations often push the envelope of new technologies and can be acquired by larger corporations as a sort of shortcut for R&D, but that is typically only once their work has been proven. 

Knowing the benefits tech startups can have, Arm today hosted its inaugural "Startup Day" virtual event. 


Speakers at Arm's Startup Day.

Speakers at Arm's Startup Day. Image used courtesy of Arm


Today at 9:00 am PST, this half-day conference kicked off with talks given by big names like Fabio Violante (CEO of Arduino) and Jeff Ma (VP of Microsoft Startups) to inspire and help startups keep innovating. To find out more, All About Circuits sat in on this event to learn what it had to give, which this article will attempt to outline and overview.


Overview of Arm's Startup Day

Free to register, Startup Day covered topics from high-level tips and tricks from successful startup founders to the steadily graying area between hardware and software.

Below are just a few examples of hardware-focused talks designed to help small businesses:

  • Fireside Chat with Arm and Microsoft
  • Open Discussion with Accomplished Entrepreneurs
  • Opportunities at the Intersection of Hardware and Software
  • The ‘Chipageddon’ Effect on Our Industry

Let's take a look at some of the most interesting points made throughout the event.


Difficulties of Hardware Startups

When listening to the presentation by Matt Skynner, COO of ventureLAB, he brought up an interesting aspect of how difficult it is to be a specifically hardware-focused startup. A few reasons he gave were the lack of general hardware support and the access to testing equipment. He even went as far as to talk about how, in the past, his team couldn't get access to the right testing equipment to test their CO2 sensors. Their answer? They bought a wine fridge, drilled holes into it, and pumped it full of CO2.

Hardware startups can be difficult to, not only establish but also take off. This is often because of how long the path takes for hardware to reach commercialization, which Matt mentions, has a lot to do with the impatience of funders. 


Investment into hardware vs. software.

Investment into hardware vs. software. Image used courtesy of BloomburgNEF


Due to the chip shortage, the semiconductor industry has suddenly found itself in the eyes of a wider range of people. Though hardware startups can be difficult both to start and gain momentum, they could be a key in helping overcome this shortage now and in the future.


Key Insights

One major focus of this event was getting the ins and outs from successful entrepreneurs in the startup world. Overall, each presenter had a plethora of knowledge and encouraging suggestions for young companies; however, one presenter stood out from the rest. Fabio Violante, CEO of Arduino, talked about the most important aspect of a startup: the team. He mentions that money may feel like the major goal, but he emphasizes that a good, strong team matters more than money, especially if they can listen.

He pointed out that listening to the customer, the user, and the market was essential. If your company found this talent in your team members, it could help push the company forward and better instill the company's values or mission. 

Adding to the concept of company culture, brought up by Fabio, was also echoed by Chris Harrison, co-founder and CTO of Qeexo, and Zach Shelby, CEO and co-founder of Edge Impulse. They mentioned how important it is to establish your company's culture, to stay faithful to it, and even choose investors that can support and complement those values. 


Seeing the Value in Startup Support

Arm isn't alone in investing time and resources into initiatives designed to support startups. Startups have been a hot topic since the early days of Silicon Valley, where its roots are deeply submerged. In pursuit of the next cutting-edge technology, even established companies understand the value of startups and have attempted to encourage and support them with various programs.

Below are a few examples of some companies that offer help to startups:

Microsoft offers learning and skill-building paths and modules, with many covering general concepts like choosing an AI for your startup's needs, all the way to more specific like setting up an IoT edge gateway. 


Basic offering from Microsoft for Startups.

Basic offering from Microsoft for Startups. Screenshot used courtesy of Microsoft


Another company that aims to help train and stabilize startups is Intel's Ignite. This platform is a 12-week program that attempts to establish a mutual, two-way road: Intel gets to be involved with the most cutting edge technology startups are coming up with, while the startups get structure and a boost from an established company on whatever aspects they need help with. 

One final company to look at for startup support is NVIDIA. NVIDIA offers a subscription model for startups that comes in two tiers: Community and Premier. The major difference between the two tiers is the access to premier events, marketing support, and an NVIDIA relationship manager. In general, NVIDIA claims to offer 200 free credits to its Deep Learning Institute, lower rates and presentation opportunities to its GPU Technology Conference (GTC), and finally discounted pricing for GPU product lines. 

Depending on your interest and drive in creating a tech startup, especially a hardware one, there are numerous ways to get help. Though it does take a lot of hard work, if you have the right idea, a dialed-in pitch, and a market need, the future could be endless. 



Interested in past startup news? Find out more in the articles down below.

Blending AI and Hardware: 3 Startups Reach for AVs and the Cloud

Startup Claims Its AI Chips Can Outperform Google and Intel at Edge Computing

Four Up-and-Coming Semiconductor Start-ups are Sparking Innovation