Infineon X GlassDollar

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Infineon is a world leader in semiconductor solutions that make life easier, safer, and greener. Their solutions for efficient energy management, smart mobility, and secure, seamless communications link the real and the digital world.In order to tackle the challenges that arise from global trends in the microelectronics sector, Infineon needs to constantly transform itself to grow.

Lamin Ben-Hamdane, Head of Start-Up Cooperations & Partnerships at Infineon, since 2018 has been connecting the most relevant startups to Infineon’s businesses and operations. His team focuses on finding the best startups for Infineon to work with on a long-term basis. “We cooperate with the best startups globally to speed up innovation at Infineon” says Lamin, who brings in many years of experience from Siemens, Oxford University and Fraunhofer Society.

Historically, Infineon has been using the Venture Supplier model, where the corporation is looking for startups to sell their products to. While this model works to gain early insights into emerging semiconductor applications and for business development, it does not contribute to digitalization and process optimization efforts of the corporation itself.

Fueled by a need of transformation and to drive internal innovation both in terms of product and processes, Infineon partnered with GlassDollar to expand their open innovation toolkit by using the Startup Partnering model, where Infineon purchases the innovative solution of a startup. The goal is establishing long-term partnerships between startups and Infineon.


Finding new ways to innovate

The demand for semiconductors is stronger than ever and projected to further grow, in particular in the areas of energy efficiency,mobility and IoT. Infineon is well positioned to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, but competition is not sleeping. To stay on top of innovation and keep transforming itself, Infineon needed a new way to harness the innovation power of startups.

Startups are an essential part of innovation at Infineon. “They are coming along and thinking about how to bring value to the final market” says CEO Dr. Reinhard Ploss. ”There are a multitude of effects and reasons why startups and Infineon fit together very well”. Of course the collaboration is on eye level. “So what we help them with is to accelerate time to market. We help them, we co-learn and it’s a real win-win environment”.


Setting the stage for successful startup partnerships

In 2021, Infineon and GlassDollar started their journey to set up Startup Partnering at Infineon in record time. Within 4 months, Infineon validated GlassDollar´s ability to support startup partnering in the long term.

In the beginning, Infineon and GlassDollar did a stakeholder mapping to find the most engaged business units for collaboration. This exercise involves screening the entire organization for relevant stakeholders and mapping them according to interest and influence. The result is a map of people and departments clustered by their characteristics, including the Ambassadors who are most likely to engage in a startup collaboration. With this clarity, Lamin could go out into the organization and approach the stakeholders with a clear value proposition: Give us your innovation challenges and we’ll give you the best startup solutions on the market.


First steps towards real business impact

Infineon used GlassDollar to source 10+ broad landscapes to get an overview of the market and inspire business units. Some of the topics included were green mobility solutions, metaverse technologies, autonomous driving and marketing automation. This enabled Lamin to reach out to business units and show the potential that startup solutions can bring for Infineon.

Infineon also commissioned 20+ benchmark sourcings from GlassDollar to find the best candidates for the first PoC. Some topics were derived from one of the broader landscapes, where it sparked the respective business unit’s interest. Others were directly proposed by business units, as they were actively working on that innovation challenge at the time.

Looking into the future

Out of those benchmark sourcings, many potential innovation projects crystallized, the most promising being solutions to automate wafer container inspections in the factory and a more efficient solution to create equipment training videos in order to facilitate internal know-how transfer in manufacturing. After only 4 months, the first PoCs in both areas with estimated business impact of €3M is on the way.

Customer Voice

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"GlassDollar helped to kick start the Venture Client approach which will speed up Infineon's digitalization efforts."

Lamin Ben-Hamdane
Head of Start-Up Cooperation & Partnerships