Deep-tech dive USA 2023
/Deep-tech Dive USA: de-risking the road to disruption

Deep-tech Dive USA: de-risking the road to disruption

July 10, 2023 | Merchants Exchange Building, San Francisco | By invitation only.

A venturing networking event hosted by imec and imec.xpand under the wings of ITF Semicon USA.

Playing a key role within the start-up ecosystem, imec has already helped several deep-tech ventures on the road to success. Deep-tech Dive USA is your chance to explore all aspects of imec’s strategy and activities towards venturing. You will get answers to questions such as:

  • What’s imec’s approach to deep-tech venturing and its role in the ecosystem?
  • How can imec’s disruptive R&D approach boost the value of young deep-tech ventures?
  • Which investment opportunities arise from imec’s ecosystem?
  • How does imec.IC-link’s ASIC service support young ventures along their silicon journey?
  • Which enabling role does imec.xpand play in funding deep-tech ventures working with imec?

Confirm your attendance

After the presentations and discussions, you’re welcome to join the networking lunch.

In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to join ITF Semicon USA, a unique forum of prime stakeholders from the semiconductor industry. This edition focuses on fueling the industry’s growth through collaboration and workforce development. Registration for ITF Semicon USA can be completed by the Deep-tech Dive USA registration form.


9:00 a.m. – Registration @ Friendship Foyer

9:30 a.m. – Welcome by Katrien Marent, EVP & CMO at imec @ Julia Morgan Ballroom (15th Floor) 

9:35 a.m. – Building a prime deep-tech venturing hub leveraging the strengths of a global tech leader. Presentation by Olivier Rousseaux - Venture Development Director at imec. 

9:55 a.m. – Turning nanotechnology into business. Presentation by Peter Vanbekbergen - Partner at imec.xpand

10:15 a.m. – From idea to product: the journey of deep-tech ventures. Fireside chat moderated by Cyril Vančura - Partner at imec.xpand with Dave Lazovsky - CEO of Celestial AI, Mike Noonen - CEO of Swave Photonics

10:45 a.m. – Coffee break @ Daniel Burnham Bar & Lounge 

11:15 a.m. – ASICs as differentiators for tech start-ups. Panel discussion moderated by Yiyi Wang - Head of imec.IC-link North America, imec, with Fabrizio Del Maffeo - CEO of Axelera AI, Cormac Conroy - CEO of TeraSpatial and Keith Kressin - President & CEO of MemryX 

11:45 a.m. - How imec.IC-link lowers the barrier for start-up companies to develop their own ASIC solution. Presentation by Romano Hoofman - Strategic Development Director at imec.IC-link, imec 

12:00 p.m. – Closing remarks by Katrien Marent, EVP & CMO at imec.

                    Followed by networking lunch @ Merchant's Exchange Club (Lower Level) 

1:00 p.m. – Adjourn or opportunity to join ITF Semicon USA 


Katrien Marent

Katrien Marent

EVP & CMO, imec

Katrien has an engineering degree in microelectronics. She joined imec in 1992 as analog design engineer and specialized in design of low-noise readout electronics for high-energy physics. In 1999, she became press responsible and scientific editor at imec's business development division and was responsible for authoring and editing the research organization's numerous company technical documents and publications. In 2001, she was appointed corporate communications director at imec. Her responsibilities expanded in August 2007, when she got the position of external communications director including corporate, marketing and outreach communications.  In October 2016, she became VP corporate, marketing and outreach communication. Since April 2020 she is Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and member of the executive board of imec.

Olivier Rousseaux

Olivier Rousseaux

Director Venture Development, imec

Olivier Rousseaux is Director Venture Development at imec, which he re-joined in 2018. Together with his team he is responsible for the creation of deeptech ventures relying on some of imec's most disruptive innovations. His background is a mix of Technology, Business and Entrepreneurship. On the technology side, he worked a first time for imec from 2004 to 2010 where he led a research group focused on ultra low power wireless communications and later served as CTO for an imec spin-off developing some of the world’s first UWB wireless communication ICs for the consumer electronics market. On the business side, he has served as Strategy Consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, one world’s three largest and most prestigious global management consulting firms, and held various executive positions in Business Line Management and Corporate Strategy for Commscope, a world leading telecom equipment provider. His academic background also covers business and technology: he holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the K.U.Leuven, and an EMBA from the Solvay Business School.

Peter Vanbekbergen

Peter Vanbekbergen

Partner at imec.xpand

Peter Vanbekbergen received his engineering degree in 1987 and his PhD degree in 1993 from the University of Leuven. From 1987 to 1993 he was a researcher at imec. In 1993, he joined the advanced technology group at Synopsys, a leading EDA provider in Silicon Valley. In 1997, Peter became director of engineering at CoWare, an imec start-up focusing on system level EDA tools, headquartered in Silicon Valley and later acquired by Synopsys. In 2003 Peter returned to imec as  associate VP of the system level division at IMEC. In 2007 Peter co-founded M4S, another imec spin-off focusing on cellular RF transceivers. This company was acquired by Huawei/HiSilicon in 2010 and continued to develop RF technology for the Huawei smartphone-line. Peter joined imec again as innovation manager, responsible for the venture process at IMEC, targeting the creation of imec spin-offs. In that context Peter co-founded imec.xpand, a fund investing in imec spin-offs and startups linking to imec technology.  He also has served as interim-CEO of Spectricity, an imec spin-off targeting novel optical sensors.

Cyril Vancura

Cyril Vančura

Partner at imec.xpand

Cyril is Partner at imec.xpand, an early stage VC fund investing in nano electronics-based innovation powered by imec, the world-leading R&D hub for nanoelectronics and digital technology. Before joining imec.xpand, Cyril was Investment Principal at Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the corporate venture arm of Robert Bosch GmbH. At RBVC he was based in Germany and in the affiliate office in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, Cyril worked at the Research and Technology Center of Bosch in Palo Alto, on novel MEMS processes, power harvesting for autonomous systems, and photovoltaic technologies. Cyril holds a Ph.D. and a diploma (masters) in physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. At ETH he conducted research in the area of CMOS-based MEMS sensors for biological and chemical applications.

David Lazovsky

David Lazovsky

Founder, CEO Celestial AI (formerly Inorganic Intelligence) - Venture Partner, Khosla Ventures - Executive Chairman, POET Technologies

In 2004 Mr. Lazovsky founded Intermolecular, a semiconductor and clean energy research, development and Intellectual Property licensing company. He served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, President and as a member of the board of directors from September 2004 through October 2014. As President and CEO, Mr. Lazovsky led all aspects of the business through its lifecycle from early-stage start-up to public company. Intermolecular (IMI) went public on the NASDAQ in 2011. Mr. Lazovsky has an in-depth knowledge of semiconductor, data/telecommunications, photonics and clean energy industries, as well as extensive international business experience. Mr. Lazovsky previously served as Chairman, Energy Storage Systems (ESS), industry leader in low-cost, long-duration energy storage 2017 - 2018. Prior to Intermolecular, Mr. Lazovsky held several senior management positions at Applied Materials. He was responsible for managing more than $1 billion in Applied Materials’ semiconductor manufacturing equipment business in the Metal Deposition and Thin Films Product Business Groups. Mr. Lazovsky was Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011, Northern California finalist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Ohio University. He currently has over 50 issued and 5 pending U.S. patents.

Mike Noonen

Mike Noonen 

CEO, Swave Photonics

Mike Noonen is CEO of Swave Photonics and has 30 years of experience leading technology businesses resulting in two IPOs and multiple acquisitions. Most recently he was the CEO of MixComm acquired by Sivers Semiconductor in early 2022. Noonen was the Chairman and co-founder of Silicon Catalyst, the World’s 1st semiconductor incubator and EE Times 2015 Start-up of the Year. He has advised and led turnarounds at numerous innovative private and public companies such as Ambiq Micro, SiFive, Silego (acquired by Dialog Semiconductor), Mythic, Kilopass, Adapteva and Rambus. Previously, Noonen was: the EVP, Global Products, Design, Sales, & Marketing at GlobalFoundries and EVP, Worldwide Sales & Marketing, at NXP Semiconductors and SVP, Global Sales & Marketing at National Semiconductor as well. In 2013 he was elected to the Global Semiconductor Alliance Board of Directors. He holds a BSEE from Colorado State University and in 2012 was named the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Noonen holds multiple patents in the areas of Internet telephony and video communications. 

Romano Hoofman

Romano Hoofman

Strategic Development Director, imec.IC-link, imec

Romano Hoofman is Strategic Development Director at imec.IC-link since 2016. He is currently responsible for the innovation programs of the unit and for the coordination of the EUROPRACTICE Service.
He started his career in industry, where he worked as a Principal Scientist at Philips Research and later on NXP Semiconductors. He covered many different R&D topics, ranging from CMOS integration, advanced packaging, thin film batteries, photovoltaics and (bio)sensors. Romano received his PhD from the Technical University of Delft in 2000, where he investigated charge transport in semi-conducting polymers. He has authored more than 30 publications and holds more than 10 patents in various research areas.

Yiyi Wang

Yiyi Wang

Head of imec.IC-link North America, imec

Yiyi Wang is Head of imec IC-link North America, responsible for the ASIC solutions services, encompassing business engagement, technical deliverables and operational excellence. Deeply rooted in the semiconductor industry, Yiyi possesses a genuine passion for technology innovation and a keen eye to identify game-changing applications. Her extensive knowledge of the startup ecosystem and enthusiasm for supporting entrepreneurship make her a valuable asset to the industry. Yiyi earned her Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University and began her career as an advisory engineer at IBM microelectronic division. After acquiring foundry knowledge in various modules of manufacturing processes, Yiyi transitioned to Business Management at TSMC North America, where she specialized in advanced technology, high-performance computing platforms, and the engagement of AI/ML projects.  As a seasoned professional, Yiyi Wang remains committed to making significant contributions to the semiconductor industry. Her dedication to technological innovation, coupled with her comprehensive understanding of the business landscape, enables her to play a crucial role in propelling the sector forward.

Fabrizio Del Maffeo

Fabrizio Del Maffeo

CEO & Co-Founder, Axelera AI

Fabrizio Del Maffeo is the CEO and co-founder of Axelera AI, the Netherlands-based startup building game-changing, scalable hardware for AI at the edge. Axelera AI was incubated by the Bitfury Group, a globally recognised emerging technologies company, where Fabrizio previously served as Head of AI. In his role at Axelera AI, Fabriozo leads a world-class executive team, board of directors and advisors from top AI Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining Bitfury, Fabrizio was Vice President and Managing Director of AAEON Technology Europe, the AI and internet of things (IoT) computing company within the ASUS Group. During his time at AAEON, Fabrizio founded “UP Bridge the Gap,” a product line for professionals and innovators, now regarded as a leading reference solution in AI and IoT for Intel. In 2018, Fabrizio, alongside Intel, launched AAEON’s “AI in Production” program. He also previously served as the Country Manager for France and Sales Director for Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe at Advantech, the largest industrial IoT computing company. In this role, he also led the intelligent retail division. Fabrizio graduated with a master’s degree in telecommunication engineering from Milan Politecnico University.

Cormac Cornroy

Cormac S.G. Conroy

CEO & Co-Founder, TeraSpatial

Cormac has almost 30 years of business, engineering, and executive leadership experience in both start-ups (Berkäna Wireless co-founder, acquired by Qualcomm) and large technology companies (GM/executive at Intel and Qualcomm). Since 2022 he has been Co-Founder and CEO of TeraSpatial, Inc. He held multiple VP leadership roles at Qualcomm including oversight for cellular RF, connectivity, and the entire GNSS/location portfolio. At Intel, as Corporate Vice President and GM, he led all of Intel's client/device wireless communications products, technology and business, including 4G/5G modem, WiFi/BT, and GNSS/location solutions. Cormac received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has 33 issued US patents, and more than 20 publications in technical journals and conferences.

Keith Kressin

Keith Kressin

President & CEO, MemryX

Keith Kressin is the CEO of MemryX, a fabless startup semiconductor company offering highly efficient and scalable Edge AI processing using innovative compute-at-memory technology and a highly distributed dataflow architecture.  MemryX was founded in 2019 at the University of Michigan, with headquarters in Ann Arbor.  Prior to leading MemryX, Keith was the SVP/GM at Qualcomm, where he led multiple business lines including AR/VR, PCs, and AI Accelerators.  At Qualcomm he also spent many years leading all of Snapdragon roadmap planning, technology planning, strategic planning, and competitive analysis.  Before his 13+ year tenure at Qualcomm, Keith spent 8+ years at Intel where he led several teams bringing high volume Intel semiconductor products to market for laptops, desktops, and workstations.  Keith also worked at Texas Instruments for 4+ years writing software for DSP based systems and designing hardware systems.  Keith has earned an MBA from Cornell University, a MSEE from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and a BSEE from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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