Download the interview, or listen here:
Sol Chip – Lets the sunshine in, and the batteries out
The journey of Dr. Shani Keysar, founder and CEO of Sol Chip, started unexpectedly several years ago.
Shani, who was then working in the chip industry, had for some time the desire to promote the usage of solar energy in Israel. One day, while driving one of her daughters home, her daughter asked her if she could use solar power to activate the chips she was working on. That question turned out to be the beginning of Shani’s journey into entrepreneurship.
Amusingly, Shani also met her mentor in a surprising circumstance – she happened to be her own neighbor, who on one day revealed herself as a source of support and useful advice while they walked their dogs together.
Shani’s greatest challenge took place when she tried to get accepted into an incubator. The money that the incubation program provided would be insufficient for developing a proof of concept for the solar-powered chip. Therefore, in order to enter the program, she had to raise another round of investment. Moreover, this all took place in the midst of the economic crisis, when investments at that time were extraordinarily hard to secure.
Shani had an opportunity to meet with the owners of a private chip manufacturing company in Scotland. She then decided to take a flight on her own to Edinburgh and present her pitch to the owners of that company. It was extremely hard for Shani to believe in herself and that she could actually make all this happen; in the end, they invested and acted as the chip manufacturing service, and Shani got Sol Chip accepted into the incubator.
Now, you can probably imagine what makes Shani say she believes that the most important thing is to have a lot of faith in your idea and especially, in your own abilities.