Silicon Foundry: How This Advisory Firm Helps Companies Become Immersed With New Technologies

By Amit Chowdhry • May 10, 2023

Silicon Foundry is an advisory firm that is known for working with innovative global corporations to navigate new technologies, engage with key emerging leaders, and deliver high-impact customer, partnership, investment, co-creation, and acquisition opportunities. To learn more about the firm, Pulse 2.0 interviewed Silicon Foundry Principal John Zamora.

John Zamora’s Background

John Zamora

Zamora is a first-generation university graduate from an immigrant family. “I’ve always been driven to create meaningful change and amplify impact, primarily through business and technology,” said Zamora. “My professional journey spans a diverse range of organizations, including public sector agencies, traditional companies, and early-stage startups. Each experience shaped my conviction that corporations possess a disproportionate amount of influence and potential to shape how our world works.”

While working at USAID, Zamora initially worked with the Development Credit Authority, where he helped structure innovative financing mechanisms to mobilize local capital for social entrepreneurs in emerging markets. And during Zamora’s time at the Albright Stonebridge Group (a global strategy firm based in D.C.), he served as a strategic partner to multinational corporates in navigating the complexities of globalization, market entry, and stakeholder management.

While working at First Circle (an early-stage financial technology startup), Zamora spent two years in Manila, Philippines dedicated to bridging the credit gap faced by SMEs in Southeast Asia and immersing himself in startup operations. Zamora’s team built and designed digital lending products that provided high-growth small businesses with fast, fair, and flexible access to funds.

Now, at Silicon Foundry, Zamora said he was grateful to be able to integrate his diverse interests in strategy, finance, and entrepreneurship. On a day-to-day basis, Zamora works with an incredible team, guiding corporations toward making positive impacts in the areas of technology and innovation.

“I often serve as a connector and translator between corporate executives, investors, startup founders, researchers, and policymakers,” Zamora added. “As a trusted partner, I act as an extension of the Chief Technology Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, and Corporate Venture Capital teams at leading F100s, helping them explore, understand, and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the dynamic tech ecosystem.”

Evolution Of Silicon Foundry’s Thesis

How has Silicon Foundry’s thesis evolved over time? Zamora told me that Silicon Foundry’s core thesis has consistently focused on building bridges between world-leading multinational corporations and the technology ecosystem. The firm’s mission is to identify and facilitate impactful and actionable opportunities for collaboration and growth. Global events such as the pandemic or recent banking crisis have underscored the need to stay ahead of the emergence of new technologies, key players, and shifting priorities, including areas like AI and sustainability that have grown rapidly in the past few years. Silicon Foundry supports its Members in understanding how these trends affects their business and how to adequately respond through investments, partnerships and/or acquisitions.

Significant Milestones

What have been some of Silicon Foundry’s most significant milestones?

“One of Silicon Foundry’s initial milestones was the launch of our ‘Hub’ in San Francisco, a space used by our local team and Members,” Zamora highlighted. “As we’ve grown, we’ve expanded our presence to key innovation hubs across the USA and beyond, including NYC, Detroit, Miami, Austin, Los Angeles, San Diego, London, and, most recently, Dubai. This growth has also led to a diverse and global member base, encompassing corporations from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the USA, and Europe. Our milestones reflect our commitment to fostering a global network of innovation and collaboration, empowering corporations to thrive in an ever-changing world.”

So far, Silicon Foundry has partnered with over 50 corporate members from Fortune 2000 companies. And its client base boasts headquarters in countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, South Africa, South Korea, UAE, UK, and the USA.

Customer Success Stories

When I asked Zamora about any specific success stories, he informed me that they had the privilege of partnering with a diverse and global group of industry leaders like UPS, Ford Motor Company, Southwest Airlines, Estee Lauder, Deutsche Telekom, SK hynix, Capital Group, NatWest, and Standard Chartered, among others.

“We call our clients ‘Members,’ reflecting our ethos of long-term partnerships and our commitment to building a collaborative community,” Zamora noted.

Another recent success story involves the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) unveiling Launchpad to accelerate growth and innovation in the Middle East. And as a strategic partner to the DIFC, Silicon Foundry offers crucial support in developing, testing and launching new ventures on an unprecedented scale.

One of the key focus areas is financial innovation where Zamora partnered with Members in multiple ways like designing novel internal emerging tech research, scouting, and monitoring processes; facilitating partnerships or agreements between corporate investors and fintech startups; and providing targeted strategy development around emerging niche areas like blockchain, digital assets, the metaverse, and the immersive experiences, the future of work, and sustainability.

As each Member is at a unique stage in their innovation journey, the firm tailors support to focus on areas that bring the highest impact for each specific team.

Industry Focus

Silicon Foundry’s work is industry-agnostic and they partner with corporations spanning financial services, mobility and logistics, consumer and retail, and industrials and manufacturing.

“The strength of our model lies in our insights and perspectives that transcend industries. However, we increasingly focus on specific themes within industries and those that apply horizontally across them. For example, sustainability is a crucial area shaping the future of all industries,” shared Zamora.

Differentiation From Other Firms

How does Silicon Foundry differentiate itself from other firms? Silicon Foundry stands out due to its business model that positions the firm as unbiased advisors to the Members, acting as a direct extension of their senior teams in navigating the complex innovation ecosystem.

“We firmly believe in emphasizing quality over quantity when it comes to insights, recommendations, connections, and outputs. This approach ensures our Members focus on and commit resources or strategic investments only to the best-in-class emerging players,” Zamora replied. “Our work is laser-focused and tailored to each Member’s needs, with the understanding that no two Member experiences are the same. As the priorities of each Member evolve, so does the focus of our work for them. This flexibility enables us to continue delivering value to our Members, even as their businesses and industries undergo rapid change.”

Future Goals

What are some of Silicon Foundry’s future goals?

“Our objectives include expanding our global presence and network in every major tech ecosystem and broadening our diverse set of Members representing all major global sectors,” Zamora concluded. “We aim to continue fostering connections and facilitating innovation by engaging with industry leaders and emerging players from around the world.”