News Release

DFJ and Cisco Announce Ambiq Micro as Winner of Global Business Plan Competition

Team Will Receive Investment Totaling $250,000 from DFJ and Cisco to Lead the Way to Ubiquitous Computing with Next Generation Energy-efficient Microcontrollers
Jul 01, 2010

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 1, 2010 - Leading global venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco today announced Ambiq Micro as the winner of their second co-sponsored Global Business Plan Competition for university and business school students.  Ambiq Micro is developing next generation energy-efficient microcontrollers.  The team will receive a seed investment totaling $250,000 from DFJ and Cisco to help the company lead the way to ubiquitous computing.

This competition is made possible by the unparalleled reach of DFJ's Global Network and Cisco TelePresenceTM suites.   Cisco TelePresence suites enable collaboration through a live, face-to-face network communications experience where participants feel as though they are sitting in the same room even though they may be located thousands of miles apart.   The 16 finalist teams from across the globe presented business plans from their local TelePresence suite to a panel of San Jose-based judges composed of venture capitalists from DFJ and its Global Network Funds and executives from Cisco's Corporate Development team.

"Cisco TelePresence just rocks!  What an amazing group of entrepreneurs we saw this week," said Tim Draper, managing director of DFJ.  "We covered the gamut including location-based services, innovative online security, new advertising and financial lending platforms, cleantech efficiency, visual search, revolutionary drug delivery and pathology systems, and even worm producers, all with one common thread:  passionate entrepreneurs poised to change the world.  We intend to keep close track of all the finalists because there's no doubt that pioneering teams like these will make an impact."

Draper said that every single plan had a strong case to be the winner and it was exceptionally difficult to choose just one winner.   As a result, in addition to working with Ambiq Micro, DFJ will begin due diligence on the runner-up teams OsComp Systems, DeliWorm, GlucaGo, MicroMed, SiliconReef, and ios Financial.

"It was difficult to choose a winner, but Ambiq Micro has an impressive technology and team to pursue what is a very interesting market," said Hilton Romanski, vice president of corporate development at Cisco.  As more and more of our daily activities--work, entertainment, learning, commercial transactions—are carried out with the help of ever-smaller and ubiquitous computing devices, low-power utilization will be crucial to sustain cost and performance. Ambiq Micro's silicon technology helps enable this.  Ambiq was among an impressive field of finalists in this competition.  Each of the 16 finalists put forward smart, creative and impactful plans to address a diverse group of issues, and we look forward to seeing great things from each of them as they move forward and grow their business."

The presenting members of the Ambiq Micro team were Scott Hanson and Phil O'Niel from the University of Michigan.  Ambiq Micro was founded in January 2010.

"This is a tremendous honor to be considered for this award alongside the extraordinary group of entrepreneurs that presented this week," said Scott Hanson chief executive officer of Ambiq Micro.  "We look forward to building our company with the investment teams at the DFJ Global Network and Cisco to make Ambiq Micro a leader in ubiquitous computing."

Finalists in the competition were selected and evaluated in the same way that venture capitalists evaluate start-ups.  For each company, the judges considered the management teams, addressable market size, competitive positioning, barriers, capital efficiency and financial projections. In addition to the financial investment awarded to the winner, both DFJ and Cisco will continue to work with the winner and other finalists in leading the next wave of disruptive technologies by providing mentorship and professional assessments regarding their submissions.

Please contact Marta Bulaich at DFJ to see a webcast of the competition.

Public Cisco TelePresence Suites offer convenient access to organizations, travelers, remote workers or business partners to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners on a pay per use basis.  For more information about Cisco TelePresence Suites please visit:

About Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Draper Fisher Jurvetson ("DFJ") backs extraordinary entrepreneurs everywhere who set out to change the world. DFJ achieves its mission through its DFJ Global Network of Partner Funds. Together, DFJ and the Network manage over $6B and have made more than 600 investments on four continents. With a 25-year history of success across diverse sectors and market conditions, DFJ has led the way investing in emerging technologies, from the Internet and life sciences to clean energy and nanotechnology. DFJ has been proud to back over 500 companies across many sectors including such industry changing successes such as Tesla Motors (TSLA),  Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Athenahealth (ATHN), EnerNOC (ENOC), TicketsNow (acquired by TicketMaster), Feedburner (acquired by Google), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID). The DFJ Network includes DFJ, DFJ Athena, DFJ Changzhou, DFJ Dragon, DFJ Esprit, DFJ FIR, DFJ Frontier, DFJ Gotham, DFJ Growth, DFJ InCube, DFJ Mercury, DFJ Portage, DFJ Tamir Fishman, Draper Triangle, DFJ Vina, DFJ-VTB Aurora, Element Partners, and Epic Ventures. For more information, please go to