Silicon Foundry: A catalyst for corporate venture

Silicon Foundry is the new, more globally-focused version of Sherpa Foundry, thanks to strategic investment from SVB Financial. The platform will connect global corporations to start-ups and emerging technologies to catalyse collaboration and innovation.

Sherpa Foundry and Silicon Valley Bank today announced a new collaboration that will rebrand the membership-based corporate innovation platform to ‘Silicon Foundry’. The platform will continue to connect large corporations with start-ups and emerging technologies, but now with a wider reach.

Silicon Foundry presents a curated flow of targeted insights, deal sourcing, senior-level personal introductions and private events to connect its members to catalyse business collaboration; from strategic customer relationships and partnerships, to investments, spin outs and acquisitions.

The platform’s current member base includes a diverse spectrum of large businesses from across the globe, including British Petroleum, Deutsche Telekom, Majid Al Futtaim, NBCUniversal, and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Sherpa Foundry was founded in 2013 by Sherpa Capital co-founders Shervin Pishevar and Scott Stanford to connect corporations and start-ups. The platform recently received an injection of strategic investment from Silicon Valley Bank’s parent company, SVB Financial Group to take the mission global; hence the rebrand. The co-founders will remain on the board of Silicon Foundry.

“Our vision from day one was to develop an independent and unbiased platform with the mission of building bridges between entrepreneurs, corporate executives and venture capitalists. Silicon Foundry is a resource for the entire ecosystem,” said Silicon Foundry co-founder and board member Scott Stanford.

In the US, Sherpa Foundry’s primary market prior to the Silicon Valley Bank partnership, Fortune 2000 corporations across all industries are under constant pressure to identify and leverage the most disruptive new technologies, platforms and business models that spin out from virtually undiscovered start-ups. In its new avatar, Silicon Foundry serves as an embedded extension of its members’ executive teams, helping them efficiently sift through tens of thousands of start-ups and new technologies so they can zero-in on the opportunities that are most relevant to their business.

“There is simply too much happening across the global technology landscape for any single person or team to keep up with,” said Silicon Foundry CEO Neal Hansch. “Every company or organisation can benefit from having a dedicated and trusted partner with deep industry relationships and unique access that is proactively representing and promoting their interests in the field every day.”

“The corporate venture and innovation groups that we meet from around the world need one thing more than anything else: access. Access to the ideas, entrepreneurs and specific opportunities that will help them drive growth and innovation across their organisations,” said Tracy Isacke, head of Silicon Valley Bank’s Corporate Venture Relationship Group.

“Having worked with thousands of start-ups over the last three decades, we have built an expansive network. Together with Silicon Foundry we can provide broader visibility and direct connections to an even greater number of corporations and start-ups.”

Many of Silicon Foundry members have established accelerator or incubator programmes, innovation and research labs, corporate business development or venture investment arms; Silicon Foundry plugs into these initiatives to help amplify awareness, drive efficiencies and support their success.

The platform uses an intensive methodology which parallels the processes that venture capital fund managers use to source and evaluate deals, Silicon Foundry systematically filters only those leads that it believes will have real impact for its members.

This month, Silicon Foundry opened its new 12,500 square foot headquarters in downtown San Francisco adjacent to Silicon Valley Bank. This presence serves as a dynamic home for its Members and a centre of gravity for senior executives to integrate and collaborate with entrepreneurs. Members can use the space on a full or part time basis and benefit from relevant events with other key founders, senior executives, investors, influencers, academics and industry thought-leaders.

“This co-working hub in Silicon Valley is the physical manifestation of our community and specifically designed for the needs of our members,” Hansch added. “We believe meaningful connectivity and tangible results will occur when we create a unique environment that is engineered to encourage the collision of people and ideas.”

Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

Related Topics

Corporate venture capital