October 12, 2023

UK launches £1.3m incubator for chip startups

Twelve startups, including Mignon and Vaire Computing, selected for the first of two cohorts

The UK has launched an incubator for chip startups as part of a national strategy to boost the country’s semiconductor industry.

Twelve startups working in the field have so far joined the initiative, called ChipStart, which will give participating companies nine months’ worth of support to develop their products.

The £1.3m programme will be delivered by startup accelerator SiliconCatalyst.UK and will provide chip design tools, mentorship and networking opportunities with potential investors and partners. 


The list of startups selected so far includes Mignon and Vaire Computing, which are designing energy-efficient chips to run large-scale AI models; MintNeuro, which is developing natural implants for patients with neurological conditions; and Lancaster-based Quinas Technology, the makers of ULTRARAM, a universal memory device.

Five of the twelve startups selected for the incubator are UK university spinouts and two others originated from research carried out at Oxford and Cambridge universities.

“Whether they’re innovating how we support patients with Parkinson’s or are on the cusp of supercharging how AI is used, these firms are the brightest sparks in the UK’s thriving semiconductor industry,” said UK minister for technology Paul Scully.

The program will run two consecutive cohorts and end in March 2025, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said. A total of 27 startups applied to take part in the first cohort.

Cristina Gallardo

Cristina Gallardo is a senior reporter at Sifted currently based in London (soon to be Barcelona) covering tech sovereignty and Iberia. Follow her on X and LinkedIn