By Kenneth Jeng, Silicon Foundry

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The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the urgency for digital transformation, heightening the interest in immersive technology as a substitute for face-to-face interaction. In addition, the development of innovative AR/VR solutions designed to enrich both digital and in-person experiences and intuitively facilitate the transfer of information has accelerated — industries from retail to manufacturing are investing in new ways of doing things in anticipation of a post-pandemic new normal.

As we enter 2021, practical virtual reality and augmented reality solutions appear to be at the cusp of a positive inflection point — over the course of the last few years…


Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s Partner

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Liz Keen is a Partner at Silicon Foundry and an Operating Partner at ACME Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco. She has been known to ask an inordinate amount of questions and has a deep love for this quote: “A tribe of unusual suspects can change the world if it is connected in purposeful ways.”

What brought you from the communications world in New York to the venture capital world in San Francisco?

Before I joined Foundry, I was leading special projects at Condé Nast — one of the original Foundry Members. The media business was…


Silicon Foundry’s expanding network of Corporate Members are driving transformation at some of the world’s most respected global brands — from leaders in mobility, mining and telecom, to beauty, retail, energy, financial services and beyond.

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Tom Gwinn is an Investment Manager at Evonik Venture Capital (EVC) based in Silicon Valley. Tom has been actively involved in the technology community in the valley for over a decade. Prior to joining Evonik, Tom has held roles in venture capital investing, startup patent strategy, and applied physics research — providing a broad set of experiences to draw upon in support of Evonik’s investments. Tom has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Caltech, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

What are the experiences that led you to Evonik and, in particular…


By Kenneth Jeng, Silicon Foundry

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Manufacturing is experiencing an unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation, process automation, and human-machine interaction technologies amidst the backdrop of COVID-19. As firms begin to adjust to the serious dislocations caused by the pandemic and a protracted recovery process, investment in Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 has become a key strategic priority for industries across the board.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines Smart Manufacturing as systems that are “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.” For industry players, the adoption…


Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s Partner

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Sehr is a Partner at Silicon Foundry after spending her career at the intersection of strategy, partnerships, and transformation. Most recently, Sehr co-founded and ran an executive advisory firm that worked with global brands, best-selling authors, family offices, and C-suite executives to develop brand strategy, build strategic partnerships, and launch new ventures. Prior to that, she held senior leadership roles at NBC, MTV, Paramount, and Edelman Digital where she worked with brands like Samsung, Unilever, and J&J. Sehr began her career at L’Oréal.

Sehr is a classically-trained opera singer, started a non-profit for physically handicapped women in Bombay, helped architect…


Q&A with Ahi Gvirtsman, Co-Founder & Chief Knowledge Officer

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Spyre was founded four years ago based on the observation that established organizations struggle to innovate. In other words, opportunities to significantly impact organizational outcomes that have a high risk of failure and lack of clarity on ROI have a very hard time to even get properly evaluated, let alone implemented in such environments.

We are four founders coming from Israel’s ecosystem, which has been dubbed “the startup nation.” Two of us have experience working in and with established organizations and the other two have had extensive experience working in and with startups. These complimentary backgrounds have brought us to…


Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s Principal

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Janina Lieser is a Principal at Silicon Foundry working closely with Members including Invesco, NatWest, and Standard Chartered. Before joining Silicon Foundry, Janina led Product & Marketing at Grasshopper Bank, the first digital commercial bank in the US serving startups, VCs, and private equity firms. Prior to that, she worked across different FinTech startups and financial services organizations in London, San Francisco, and now New York.

Tell us about your career path — what are the key experiences that led you to Silicon Foundry?

My first job paved the way for me. I was running Cisco’s European customer reference program…


Q&A with Alison Mountford, Founder & Chef

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Alison Mountford is the Founder of Ends+Stems — a meal planning and grocery management app that helps reduce household food waste. She’s been a chef and entrepreneur in San Francisco for 17 years and founded one of the first meal delivery companies (which sold in 2015). Alison is proud to have worked with more startups, businesses, and impactful individuals than she can count.

As Foundry’s private event caterer for 6+ years, you (sadly) mark the beginning of the pandemic with two canceled events at the Silicon Foundry Hub. …


Q&A with Mark Silva, Founder & CEO of KITE

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KITE is the leading SaaS platform for enterprises, consultants, accelerators and investors to collect, aggregate, manage and share their partner data. With KITE, these groups work more efficiently and transparently, accelerate smarter decisions, and increase the number of partnerships and outcomes.

KITE Founder and CEO, Mark Silva, has founded multiple companies connecting the world’s biggest and best enterprises with emerging, disruptive technologies. He is an active board director, advisor, investor and speaker at the intersection of enterprise+startups on stages such as TechCrunch Disrupt, CES, MWC and SXSW.

What was the origin story and early vision you had for KITE?

Corporate…


Silicon Foundry’s expanding network of Corporate Members are driving transformation at some of the world’s most respected global brands — from leaders in mobility, mining and telecom, to beauty, retail, energy, financial services and beyond.

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Masaki Hilaga is the Co-Founder and CEO of Morpho, a developer of image processing technologies based on his work as a researcher at the University of Tokyo. Founded in 2004, Morpho’s technology has been used in over 3 billion devices worldwide. The company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2011 and has subsequently begun expanding its business to international markets.

Tell us a little about Morpho and yourself.

Morpho actually began when I was a PhD student at the University of Tokyo studying computer graphics and computer vision. I worked as an engineer for about a year and…

Silicon Foundry

Silicon Foundry is an innovation advisory platform that builds bridges between leading multi-national corporations and global startup ecosystems.

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