Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Don’t stay in stealth mode longer than necessary

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Zero EC higher bandwidth density at 99% lower energy consumption!

Please introduce yourself and your startup Zero EC to our readers!

We are a German-Israeli-Swiss startup that was the first company in the world to succeed in conducting free electrons. Put simply, we have proven that there is another, much more efficient way to transmit data besides copper and fiber optics. Since data transmission is the basis of every computation that takes place in a computer, our patented transmission technology represents a paradigm shift, a Green IT solution that enables a thousand times higher bandwidth density at 99% lower energy consumption! A technological breakthrough for which we have been awarded the German Innovation Award 2021.

Why did you decide to start with Zero EC?

We come from a background of basic academic research. When Prof. Ron Naaman, a leading scientist in the field of free electrons, together with Erez Halahmi, our current CTO, came up with the idea of using free electrons, it quickly became clear that a company would be needed to develop and apply such a technology.

What is the vision behind Zero EC?

We want to enable massive performance gains in chips while reducing semiconductor and data transmission emissions by over 99%. We believe that a world where laptops run for a year on a standard battery and are many times more powerful is actually possible. And not just in 50 years, but within the next 10-15 years!

How difficult was the start and which challenges did you have to overcome?

You can divide it quite well into three phases: The basic research, the usability and the actual product application. The biggest challenges at the start were of a physical nature. Our research area tends to be perceived as a niche because no one has yet thought that free electrons could be used in semiconductors. Once we achieved a proof-of-concept, we had to prove that our technology could be integrated into existing products and fabrication methods and used in the high-end semiconductor industry. And currently we are working with customers and development partners on the first actual product application. As far as funding is concerned, we are of course extremely grateful that even in the first early phase investors recognized the potential, believed in us and have so far invested an eight-figure sum. 

Who is your target audience?

Most IT applications, whether they are cloud services, AI, Big Data, or super/quantum computing, require either higher performance or higher energy efficiency. Our technology delivers both. Direct target groups in the first phase are therefore high-end semiconductor manufacturers such as Intel, TSMC, AMD and the like. And of course Apple, which with its new M1 processor is going down a path that is great to combine with our technology.

What is the USP of your startup?

Zero EC is kind of like the LED for the IT industry. Most people never think about why so much power is used in IT. People have gotten used to it just being that way. Much like it used to be with incandescent lamps. Then at some point someone discovered that you don’t have to heat up a wire to make light, there are other ways. It’s much the same with our technology. We can transport data and need virtually no electricity to do it — hence our company name: Zero EC (Energy Consumption). 

Where do you see yourself and your startup Zero EC in five years?

In 5 years, we want to have proven that our technology can not only solve a variety of problems in the semiconductor industry, but that our technology is also the key to Green IT.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

1: Don’t stay in stealth mode longer than necessary. Of course, we had the special case that we were dealing with a high-tech innovation and had to be careful due to ongoing patent proceedings. But perhaps we were just a little too cautious. We are only now pushing our public communication forward and are noticing how much this is positively changing the entire perception of our startup towards potential partners and investors within a very short time.

2: Find the right partners! We work with a large number of institutions around the world (e.g. Bar-Ilan University, Fraunhofer Institute) as well as leading scientists — without them we would never have made it from basic research to the first product application in abound 10 years.

3: Simplify! Since this is a highly complex technology, finding ways to tell our story as simply as possible, while taking the knowledge and expertise of each target group into account, is one of the biggest challenges.

Thank you Daniel Graf for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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