Over the past five years, I have had the great privilege of serving as an occasional advisor to Activate, a program that supports entrepreneurs working against-all-odds to tackle some of the most challenging and important issues we face. Every year a new cohort of passionate idealists shows up at Berkeley or MIT for a 2-year boot camp that provides mentorship, networking, and financial support. The Activate team is incredible, and the mission – to support promising entrepreneurs developing essential technologies that are not likely to be supported by the venture community – is hyper-critical. I have found the talents and enthusiasm of both the program Fellows and the staff to be a continual inspiration.

Covalent Metrology was a mere twinkle in my eye when I first engaged with Activate in 2015-2016. It has been a wild ride ever since. Covalent now has 41 team members, 500+ clients, a soon-to-be christened 24,000ft2 lab in Sunnyvale, and a portfolio of more than 50 advanced analytical instruments under our roof. We are starting to achieve genuine critical mass on our journey to build the world’s greatest metrology and characterization lab and team.

Last week, we launched and announced a collaboration with Activate. Under the new partnership, Covalent provides current and recent Activate Fellows a variety of benefits, including free technical advice, reduced job minimums, and price discounts. Small, capital-constrained technology start-ups face daunting odds and a multitude of challenges; we believe that facilitated access to a world-class metrology and characterization lab and the team will help them accelerate their research, development, and eventual commercialization.

We aim to help create a world where applied scientists at companies large and small can make critical decisions equipped with ample, well-understood information and insights. In the coming weeks, we will follow with more detailed thoughts about a new approach to metrology and characterization – a strategy to allow growing technology companies to focus their precious capital and resources on core technology and to attain enormous leverage on their metrology and characterization dollars through a genuine partnership with Covalent.

We are grateful and appreciative of Activate Fellows, their sponsors, and the staff that works tirelessly to support them. There is much work to do. Let’s get to it.