Launched by technology giant NEC Corporation in 2018, NEC X, Inc. fast-tracks spinouts every year. We match our cutting-edge technologies developed at NEC Labs with innovative business ideas brought by entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs), then incubate and accelerate startups generated from the matching by providing our Corporate Accelerator Program (CAP). Located in Silicon Valley, NEC X leverages the startup ecosystem to commercialize through open innovation. NEC’s talent and technology ecosystem to promote commercialization through open innovation.
EIRs are the champions of NEC X. Our goal is to build world-leading startups.
About the Role:
In this role, you will be the founder and owner of a completely new business for your startup.
NEC X is looking for entrepreneurs to lead startup projects to spinout through the CAP which starts in April and October (semi-annually) and consists of two phases of Customer Discovery (9-12 weeks) and Customer Validation (6-9 months).
During our customer discovery phase, we will provide you with access to top-talented researchers and cutting-edge technologies (AI/ML, computer vision, sensor, etc.) from NEC Labs that are a result of a $1 billion+ annual spend on R&D. In addition, we will provide you with access to an elite group of mentors, product leads, and startup evangelists to assist you to discover and engage with customers and to build out your team. These will become the foundation of your startup, and we provide the integral pieces to ensure that you are successful.
Once you convince us that your new idea is worth a million dollars after customer discovery, NEC X will be your first investor and put you on a launchpad through our customer validation phase. In this phase, you will build the MVP, test it with customers, iterate, iterate again, and eventually secure your first paying customers. At the end of this phase, your startup will spin out following a successful investment round from angels or VC firms.
This role is challenging, fast paced, and comes with ambiguity. You will be going through the growing pains that all startups have faced from day 1, but you will not be going at it alone. You will have the vast portfolio of NEC’s technology, the incredible team at NEC X, and a group of star-studded mentors backing you from the get-go.
Want to create a real and impactful startup? NEC X is the place to do it.
- Be the first founder and owner of the startup
- Analyze NEC’s portfolio of technology and find which technologies can best be used with your business idea and future product
- Build your own team (startups are hard, even harder when flying solo)
- Go through our customer discovery phase (9-12 weeks): Reach out and engage with customers to find key problems and needs as the seed of your business idea
- Work with NEC X and mentors to ideate and iterate your business idea
- Build a customer pipeline and secure your early-stage engagement agreements in the form of Proof of Concepts (POCs)
- Pitch to NEC X and convince us to be your first investor
- Go through our customer validation phase (6-9 months): Use NEC X’s investment to build and iterate your minimum viable product (MVP) to perform the POCs you secured during customer discovery
- Get your first paying customers
- Perform fundraising to achieve your first investment round from outside investors such as angel investors or VC firms
- Spin out as a standalone successful startup
You are a good candidate if you have:
- Experience with the startup ecosystem, whether it is as a founder, early-stage employee, or as a key member of a startup from seed to Series C
- The ability to tackle ambiguity and decide the best path forward
- The skills to be an impactful storyteller and leader
- An understanding of product lifecycle from ideation to launch
- A natural talent at using customer empathy to understand customer problems and needs
- 5+ years of work experience as a director or above in a business, product, or sales role at a technology company
Note: if you only have some of these but feel you are a strong candidate, we would still like to meet you!
While not required, some of our most successful candidates have:
- Created and launched a past startup that has had a positive exit (IPO, acquisition, etc)
- Led and closed a fundraising round for a startup in the seed to Series C range
- An existing group of customers with a clear problem
Your NEC X Resources:
- Investment in your business idea
- Access to NEC’s core technologies
- Elite mentors, researchers, and startup evangelists to support you in all aspects of building a startup and spinning out of NEC X
- Workshops to cover business ideation, product development, customer engagement and fund raising
- Monthly compensation
Note: Deliverables such as market research reports, interview records, customer contacts, branding and creative work, MVP design, as well as software and/or hardware developed in CAP are temporarily owned by NEC X, and subject to exchange with equity. All work will be transferred and owned by the startup, and accompanying patents will be licensed when the startup is spun out and incorporated. Each startup can create its own IP in addition to the transferred and/or licensed IP.
Testimonials from our Team
– Massi Genta
– Sukhi Lamba