About Zinnstarter

ZinnStarter is one arm of Ray’s goal of exporting the positive aspects of Silicon Valley culture to the rest of America. By reaching students in university entrepreneurship programs, Ray intends to impart his experience, encouragement, mentoring and perspective, as well as putting seed money into the pockets of the next Google, Apple, Ford, Walmart or AT&T.


ZinnStarter at IDEAS

IDEAS serves as the voting board at San Jose State. We'll be dividing $10,000 among 5-10 teams after a series of applications, interviews and a trial period that takes place over winter break. Students selected for the program are strongly encouraged to enter future business plan competitions to take their startup projects to the next level. If you think you have what it takes apply here and schedule your interview by Nov 30th!


Important Deadlines

Last day to submit application • November 30, 2017

Winter break progress report • January 24th, 2018

Selected applicants announced • February 2, 2018


More About Ray Zinn

Ray Zinn is the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley. He is legendary for founding a semiconductor company without venture capital.

Ray led his company, Micrel, for 37 years, 36 profitably on a GAAP basis. This track record is astounding for many reasons:

  • Semiconductor business is wildly cyclical, and companies expect deep losses in down cycles.

  • The only unprofitable year was in the wake of the dot-com implosion of the year 2000.

  • The loss for the year was a mere $50,000.