This past week, Intel had their 14th Annual Intel Capital Global Summit in San Diego, Ca. Intel was kind enough to invite us to attend this event and get a feel for how Intel Capital works as well as to schmooze with some of the various Intel executives, industry executives and portfolio companies. Admittedly, this was my first year, so I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the openness that I had experienced while attending this event and the overall ease of being able to meet with people and chat with them for a bit. In typical efficient fashion, most of Intel Capitals events went for half an hour at most with 1 on 1 meetings going for 15 to 20 minutes.
Personally, I really enjoyed the Keynotes from the first day of the Intel Capital Global Summit, namely when Intel's own CEO, Brian Krzanich took the stage. He was very concise with his speech and mostly intended the entire keynote to be an open Q&A session. While I would've liked to see more time given to Brian to answer people's questions, I think that this was the most open and honest I've ever seen an Intel CEO. I was frankly surprised with the freedom that both the question askers were given as well as the depth that Brian went into. I feel like this is the most open I have ever seen Intel's CEO, and their new one at that. Perhaps this marks a new age in the company's way of how they deal with their CEO and questions from the audience, but I also have a feeling that this was also a much less hostile audience than one filled with a bunch of press.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Stage - image credit: Intel
I also really enjoyed the following Keynote by one of Intel's members of the Board of Directors, David Yoffie. He gave a really great speech about his upcoming book where he plans to talk about the differences and similarities between the three titans of the high-tech industry, namely Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Intel's very own Andy Grove. His speech was incredibly informative and logical and could almost be read as a self-help book for any entrepreneur looking to grow his or her own company. The book most likely won't be done any time soon, but I hope it'll be done sooner rather than later.
Either way, the focus of this event was for potential portfolio companies to meet with Intel Capital and other Intel Capital partners to figure out whether or not they were a good fit. While I don't really expect that this event necessarily sealed up any of the Intel Capital portfolio investments, it did give other people a chance to meet with these companies and to see what they're up to. After all, this increases to potential value of those companies if Intel not only gives them access to their money, but also their contacts and vast partner network.
If you're interested in the list of companies, the official Intel announcement
lists all of the companies involved. Some of the ones that I recognized were Witricity, Rocketick and Prism Skylabs. If you look at a lot of the companies that Intel Capital invested in, almost half of them are cloud-related technologies in one way or another. Many of them actually having cloud or an allusion to the cloud in their names somewhere. However, the most interesting thing to me when looking at these companies as a group is the fact that almost half of these companies were US based. Even though there's all of this talk about the fact that technology and innovation are getting away from the US, the US is still clearly a good place to start a business and get investment.
Putting our American bias aside, it is good to see that Intel Capital is investing in companies outside of the US as well, including some Israeli, Sinaporean and Indian startups.
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