Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc., along with Applied Materials India Private Limited, selected seven deeptech startups during the fourth cohort of its start-up engagement program – ASTRA (Applied Startup Technology & Research Accelerator) in Bengaluru. ASTRA aims to collaborate with start-ups and transform disruptive possibilities into reality.
Based in India and Singapore the selected startups during ASTRA 2023 include Lightspeed Photonics, Portkey, Sungreen H2, Exposome, OIP Technologies, App Sentinels, and Ethereal Machines.
Chosen from a pool of 50+ outstanding applications, the selected start-ups pitched their business proposals to Applied Materials executives and industry leaders during the event. The start-ups were then evaluated based on criteria such as Fit to Applied Technology and Business, High-Value Problems Addressed, Differentiation from Existing Market Solutions and Business Models, and Growth Potential. The areas of focus for ASTRA 2023 were Generative AI, Semiconductor and Display Technologies, Sustainability, Supply Chain Solutions, Cybersecurity, Advanced Materials, Advanced Optics and Photonics, and AI Hardware.
Commenting on the occasion, Om Nalamasu, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Applied Materials, Inc., and President of Applied Ventures said, “I would like to congratulate the seven selected start-ups for their innovative solutions. All of them have showcased exciting visions of the future, and we look forward to helping them reach their full potential through collaboration and mentorship. The ASTRA program connects us with some of the most dynamic deeptech startups, and we want to continue this incredible journey where Applied Ventures can play a significant role in fostering innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship to cultivate a thriving start-up ecosystem.”
Anand Kamannavar, Global Head, Applied Ventures, and sponsor of ASTRA, said, “The fourth cohort of ASTRA has showcased breakthrough innovations across the broader Materials to Systems™ stack in the areas of Generative AI, Semiconductors, ESG, and Supply Chain. We are thrilled to engage with the shortlisted startups; they all have tremendous potential to transform the market ecosystem. Applied Ventures will continue to support breakthrough companies across the globe, help bring their innovations to market, and guide their journey towards becoming successful business models.”
Srinivas Satya, Country President, Applied Materials India said, “We’ve always believed in the power of entrepreneurship to drive meaningful change, and we’re excited to see how these shortlisted startups will contribute to India’s semiconductor ecosystem. By collaborating with these cutting-edge businesses, we are accelerating the creation of a local semiconductor ecosystem and building on the recent announcement of our intent to establish a Collaborative Engineering Center in India.
With ASTRA 2023, Applied Materials and Applied Ventures are leveraging their extensive technical and industry expertise to accelerate the growing start-up ecosystem. The companies selected during the fourth cohort of ASTRA will now be assessed for mentorship, possible collaboration with Applied Materials, and investment opportunities from Applied Ventures. As a consultant, Applied Materials will help the final start-ups selected this year address market and technology challenges and explore potential scale-up pathways. The selected companies will also have access to Applied Materials’ product development expertise, best-known methods for maximizing market opportunities, infrastructure, and ecosystem connections.