The Silicon Review
TEL Venture Capital, Inc. was founded to leverage the capabilities of its parent company, Tokyo Electron, the world's leading semiconductor and display equipment manufacturer. It was set up to enable the growth of other foundational technologies from thin film transistors to nanotechnology. Its investments cover a range of technologies from impacting Tokyo Electron's core semiconductor, and flat panel display businesses, such as process, design, material, hardware/software, sustainability/conservation, and those peripheral areas, to Silicon fabrication and other process technologies. Its approach reflects its understanding of the limitations of both traditional corporate and financial venture capital models.
The company is located in Fremont, California.
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
It is very challenging to keep generating good results, as “investment business” does not have the specific products in the market long time. TEL VC has to continue doing sourcing, research, investment, partnership, etc. As of today, it has managed to establish a good “work scheme” after a few years of hardships and failures. In fact, the company was renewed in 2011 due to unsuccessful investments in the past.
The other challenge that the company faced was the market perception: Investment community often tends to think that investing in a startup isn’t a good idea. The company had faced few difficulties in communicating with startups in the beginning. Once the company built the reputation, it not only convinced the startups to work with its team but also encouraged other financial VCs to invest in the innovative ideas and tech that the startups generally offer.
Embarking on a Remarkable Journey
After the renewal of TEL VC in 2011, the company’s goals were reformulated under the leadership of Kay Enjoji, President of TEL VC. The company’s first successful investment was in a firm called Luxtera, a world leader of silicon phonics device for data centers. It was a huge success as Luxtera recently had a successful exit by acquisition. As Luxtera and TEL Venture Capital has a great partnership program, the acquisition deal also brought great returns to TEL Venture Capital.
TEL VC has redefined the strategic investment, where a large corporate investors often took advantage of small startups. It is witnessing the growth and great financial returns from its investments. The company has carefully planned all its investment and had chosen not to invest in certain companies which would have created mixed responses. Through its meticulous efforts, TEL VC has made sure that it is always a win-win situation besides just financial returns. In fact, the company enjoys both financial returns as well as business returns.
Why Choose TEL Venture Capital
TEL VC considers its investment companies to be its partner and it always supports their activities to secure future success. Its team brings global business experience, the deepest technical resources, and, most importantly, a collaborative approach to the table. It doesn’t simply invest in the companies. It always starts a collaboration work with the startup after the investment and has always supported their vision and ideas as their business partners. An investment by TEL VC provides the endorsement of a market leader, with worldwide sales and distribution channels that reach the leading electronics, display, and chip companies. TEL’s research and development, engineering, and manufacturing assets also may be leveraged to its clients’ benefit in many ways, from a joint partnership to a customer relationship.
Contributing to the global IT platform
The company is investing in innovative startup companies related to Semiconductor, Advanced Display, Photonics, Sensors, and other peripheral technologies. It does not focus only on hardware but also on software. Investing in innovative technologies is not always for today and tomorrow but for the future. Since renewal in 2011,TEL Venture Capital has invested in the IoT era with expanding the data and will continue it with AI, 5G, and new displays. It believes that its activities are directly or indirectly related to the current global IT infrastructure development. Also, its global organizational coverage helps to support other regions in different ways.
Meet the Flag-bearer
Kay Enjoji, President: Kay Enjoji was appointed TEL VC President in 2011 and he currently oversees its operations, strategic direction, investment approval process, and board-related decisions. Kay is also Vice President of Tokyo Electron (TEL) for corporate innovation. He has more than 30 years of semiconductor industry experience with career highlights as a senior manager in device and process technology businesses. He held various senior management roles in TEL such as director of a corporate project, corporate marketing division, and business unit marketing, where he guided new product development and new business expansion. His experience also includes leading the business of TEL’s CVD, diffusion furnace and the others. Kay received his B.A. in Economics from Keio University.