Last week, energy efficient microcontroller maker Ambiq Micro announced that it closed a $2.4 million round of seed funding. Our excitement is three-fold not only because Ambiqe is a University spin-out but also because of the company’s ties to the Institute.
First, our own Frankel Commercialization Fund is part of the round, which was led by DFJ Mercury and also included ARM Limited, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Cisco Systems, Huron River Ventures and other private investors. The company will use the funding to expand its engineering, sales and marketing teams.
Secondly, Ambiq Micro is a veteran of the Michigan Business Challenge, our annual campus-wide business plan competition. Two Frankel Fund alumni Phillip O’Niel and David Landman (MBAs 2010) assisted co-founder Scott Hanson in forming the company and joined him to compete in the Challenge in February, where they won the Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business. The Institute then mentored and sponsored the team at business plan competitions throughout the country where they honed their investment presentation skills and raised seed money for the company. Most notably, Ambiq won a $250,000 prize in July from Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco as part of their co-sponsored Global Business Plan Competition for university and business school students.
Finally, further validating its unique technology and growth potential, Ambiq Micro was selected to present in May at the Zell Lurie Institute’s Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. Presenter slots are usually reserved for more mature venture-backed start-ups. The Symposium provided a great opportunity for the company to get in front of investors from across the U.S. that were on-site to identify potential deals.
We are proud to count Ambiq Micro among one of the many startups with robust ties to the Institute and will continue to track their progress here on the blog, so check back often.