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Plug and Play Tech Center

Plug and Play Tech Center provides venture capital investment services.
Plug and Play Tech Center
Leadership team

Saeed Amidi (CEO & Founder)

Neda Amidi (President)

Michael Olmstead (Chief Revenue Officer & Partner)

Alireza Masrour (General Partner)

Jojo Flores (Co-Founder)

Peter Xu (CEO & Board Member, Plug and Play China)

Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
Sunnyvale, CA, United States
Established
2006
Social Media
Summary

Plug and Play, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, stands as a powerful force in the realm of technology startups. Founded in 2006 by Saeed Amidi, this global accelerator and venture capital firm has left an indelible mark on the tech landscape. Its influence extends across various stages of startup development, from early seed funding to pivotal Series A investments, and beyond.

One of Plug and Play's key offerings is its accelerator programs, which play a crucial role in bridging the gap between startups and Fortune 500 corporations. These programs facilitate everything from pilot projects to proof-of-concepts, strategic investments, and even mergers and acquisitions. Such initiatives have proven invaluable in shaping the trajectory of innovative companies.

The scope of Plug and Play's interests is vast. It casts a wide net across industries, showing particular focus on insurance technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), financial technology (FinTech), retail, mobility, and health sectors. Its global footprint extends well beyond its Silicon Valley home base, encompassing key locations in Germany, France, China, Japan, and beyond. This extensive reach is a testament to the organization's commitment to connecting startups and corporations on a global scale.


History

Plug and Play's history is a testament to its journey from a modest startup accelerator to a global force in the world of technology and innovation. Founded in 2006 by Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play Tech Center's beginnings were deeply rooted in Silicon Valley, but its influence has since stretched far and wide.

The story of Plug and Play starts with its founder, Saeed Amidi, a seasoned executive and visionary entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience. His background includes successful ventures such as PayPal, Danger, Dropbox, and Lending Club. His passion for technology and innovation has driven Plug and Play's mission since its inception.

Saeed Amidi's vision for Plug and Play was to create an environment where startups, corporations, and investors could come together to foster innovation. This vision led to the establishment of a company that has become a vital connector in the world of technology and venture capital.

Over the years, Plug and Play has grown exponentially and made a significant impact on the tech startup ecosystem. It has been instrumental in shaping the growth and success of numerous startups, many of which have gone on to become household names in the tech industry.

What sets Plug and Play apart is its diverse range of activities. It is not merely an investor but a multifaceted player in the tech world. Its investment portfolio includes a wide array of startups, and it actively participates in funding rounds with its strategic partners. This approach has fueled the growth of emerging companies at various stages of development.

One of Plug and Play's most notable contributions to the tech landscape is its accelerator programs. These programs bring together startups and Fortune 500 corporations to collaborate on pilot projects, proof-of-concepts, strategic investments, and even mergers and acquisitions. This synergy between established giants and agile startups has been a game-changer for many companies.

Plug and Play's success and reach extends well beyond the borders of Silicon Valley. It has established a global presence with offices in Germany, France, China, Japan, and other locations. This extensive network allows it to connect startups and corporations worldwide, creating a vibrant and interconnected ecosystem of innovation.

Through its investment funds and support from its extensive network of serial entrepreneurs, strategic investors, and industry leaders, Plug and Play has nurtured the growth of countless startups. The list of notable companies that have benefited from its involvement is a testament to its impact on the tech industry.


Investment criteria

Plug and Play, as a renowned global innovation platform and venture capital firm, has a well-defined set of investment criteria to identify and support promising startups. These criteria ensure that the startups they engage with have the potential to create meaningful and disruptive innovations. Plug and Play's investment criteria typically include the following key components:

Early-Stage Focus: Plug and Play primarily targets early-stage startups, which are typically in their seed, angel, or Series A funding rounds. This focus allows them to nurture and support startups in their formative stages.

Industry Relevance: Plug and Play is industry-agnostic and invests in startups across various sectors. They seek startups that can provide innovative solutions across a wide range of industries, including but not limited to technology, health, finance, and manufacturing.

Innovation Potential: A critical criterion is the startup's innovative potential. Plug and Play looks for startups that have developed groundbreaking ideas, products, or services that can disrupt existing markets or create new ones.

Market Traction: While startups are at an early stage, Plug and Play prefer those that have already demonstrated some market traction. This could include user adoption, revenue growth, customer testimonials, or successful pilot projects with corporate partners.

Strong Team: A talented and capable team is vital for a startup's success. Plug and Play assesses the startup's team, looking for dedicated, skilled, and visionary founders who can execute their business plans effectively.

Scalability: The potential for growth and scalability is a crucial factor. Plug and Play seeks startups with models that can rapidly expand their reach and impact.

Co-Investment: Plug and Play often co-invests with their corporate partners or other venture capital firms. They look for startups that are open to and can benefit from these collaborative investment opportunities.

Alignment with Corporate Partners: Plug and Play's corporate partners play a significant role. They look for startups that align with the specific needs and interests of these partners, as they aim to facilitate mutually beneficial collaborations.


Values

Plug and Play's values are integral to the company's mission of accelerating innovation and fostering collaboration between startups and corporate partners. These values guide the organization's approach and underpin its success as a global innovation platform. Some of the core values of Plug and Play include:

Innovation: At the heart of Plug and Play's mission is a commitment to innovation. They value fresh ideas, disruptive technologies, and creative solutions to complex problems. Innovation drives them to continuously explore new frontiers and identify opportunities for growth.

Open Collaboration: Plug and Play places a high premium on open collaboration. They believe that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. They actively foster an ecosystem where startups, corporations, investors, and mentors work together to create a thriving innovation community.

Partnership: Central to Plug and Play's values is the belief in the power of partnership. They aim to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with their corporate partners, startups, and investors. By creating an environment where all stakeholders can thrive, Plug and Play helps to drive innovation forward.

Global Perspective: Plug and Play operates on a global scale and values diversity and inclusion. They draw inspiration from various cultures, industries, and perspectives, which enriches their network and strengthens their global impact.

Agility: The business world is constantly evolving, and Plug and Play understands the need for agility. They value adaptability and the ability to pivot in response to market changes and new opportunities.

Commitment to Impact: Plug and Play is not just about driving innovation for its own sake; they are committed to making a positive impact on the world. Whether it's through sustainable practices, health innovations, or technological advancements, they aim to create meaningful change.

Entrepreneurial Spirit: Plug and Play embraces an entrepreneurial spirit both within their organization and among the startups they support. They appreciate the drive and determination of founders and encourage a culture of risk-taking and learning.

Sustainability: Plug and Play recognizes the importance of sustainable business practices and is dedicated to environmental and social responsibility. They actively seek out startups and partners who share this commitment to sustainability.

These values guide Plug and Play in their daily operations, their selection of startups for accelerator programs, and their interactions with corporate partners and investors. They create a culture that fosters innovation, collaboration, and positive change, making Plug and Play a driving force in the global innovation ecosystem.


Mission

Plug and Play's mission is to "make innovation open to anyone, anywhere." This succinct yet powerful mission statement encapsulates the core purpose and driving force behind the organization's existence. 

Plug and Play, a global innovation platform headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is dedicated to catalyzing innovation, fostering collaboration, and providing access to opportunities for startups, corporations, investors, and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Portfolio

Plug and Play's portfolio is a dynamic and expansive collection of startups that have benefited from the organization's resources, connections, and investment opportunities. This portfolio spans various industries and includes startups at different stages of development. Here are some examples of startups that have been part of Plug and Play's portfolio:

PayPal: One of the most iconic names in the fintech industry, PayPal, has been associated with Plug and Play. As a notable alumnus, PayPal's success reflects the calibre of startups that have passed through Plug and Play's programs.

Pinterest: The popular social media platform Pinterest is another significant success story. Pinterest's inclusion in the portfolio showcases how Plug and Play supports innovative companies in the digital and social media space.

Dropbox: Dropbox, a leading cloud-based file storage and collaboration platform, is another example of a company that has flourished after its involvement with Plug and Play.

Ellie Mae: Ellie Mae, a technology platform for the mortgage finance industry, found value in Plug and Play's ecosystem. The company's inclusion in the portfolio highlights Plug and Play's impact on the real estate and financial technology sectors.

Bolt: Bolt, an innovative e-commerce platform, is a testament to Plug and Play's support for emerging retail and technology companies.

N26 Group: N26, a mobile banking platform, is an example of a fintech startup that has thrived within Plug and Play's ecosystem.

DataRobot: DataRobot, a leader in automated machine learning, has leveraged the resources and connections offered by Plug and Play to make a significant impact in the artificial intelligence and data analytics space.

Pony.ai: Pony.ai is an autonomous driving technology company that demonstrates Plug and Play's role in fostering innovation in the transportation and mobility sectors.

These examples represent just a fraction of the startups that have been part of Plug and Play's portfolio. The diversity of industries and the success stories within these sectors underscore Plug and Play's commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.


References
Plug and Play Tech Center
Leadership team

Saeed Amidi (CEO & Founder)

Neda Amidi (President)

Michael Olmstead (Chief Revenue Officer & Partner)

Alireza Masrour (General Partner)

Jojo Flores (Co-Founder)

Peter Xu (CEO & Board Member, Plug and Play China)

Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
Sunnyvale, CA, United States
Established
2006
Social Media