How to get your start-up funded with Intel

Intel Capital's President Arvind Sodhani (image: Charlie Fripp)

At Intel Capital’s annual CEO Summit in San Diego, California, President Arvind Sodhani detailed how innovators can get their products and services funded – by simply partnering with Intel and the Capital investment arm.

Intel Capital's President Arvind Sodhani (image: Charlie Fripp)
Intel Capital’s President Arvind Sodhani (Image source: Charlie Fripp)

However, there are a set of criteria that individuals and companies need to adhere to.

“There are a lot of Venture Capitalists and what start-ups need is the capital that is out there. We help leverage that and help get our portfolio companies out the door. It’s a big win for us as when our portfolio companies meet with others to further their businesses,” Sodhani said during a keynote interview.

Sodhani said companies often ask if they can join the programme, but it is not as simple as that. There are criteria that the start-up has to meet, and Intel is often the one to initiate the first contact.

For that reason, the Intel Capital CEO Summit is one of the most sought-after conferences on the Company’s calendar. It provides a platform for aspiring start-ups to meet with potential investors from around the world and possibly catch the eye of Intel investors.

“We are focussed on companies that will disrupt something in the market or create something that doesn’t yet exist in some markets. We are invested all over the world in more than 50 companies and invested in 46 new companies in 2013,” Sodhani explained.

As far as technology is concerned, Intel covers the entire technology spectrum. “We are in all the sectors that are important for computing, such as mobile tech, cloud services, security and consumer related services.”

Sodhani said that they typically look for companies with a solid management structure coupled with a good product. “On top of that we are a strategic investor, we want to be in all the sectors that are relevant to us.”

By covering all sectors Intel is positioned to provide the highest level of support, particularly as sector relevance peaks and wanes at different stages.

“From time to time some sectors will become very hot. For private companies an over-evaluation is very dangerous – then you get down-runs and that is very painful for investors. While it is exciting, if the revenue isn’t consistent, there will be a down-run.”

Sodhani concluded by saying that many of the investments that Intel has made stems from products or ideas that originate in the Company’s development labs. “Many of our investment pieces are built around what will be coming out of Intel. The Centrino chip is a good example, as it made use of Wi-Fi, which wasn’t previously available and a very new technology.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor