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52 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2019 Feature by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Elsewhere in this issue, we interviewed Nate Ramanathan, director of manufacturing at AEye. In that conversation, Ramanathan makes the point that fabs and CMs should look for startups, and that manufacturing firms should build relationships early on with startups. There is, of course, the perception that it takes a large amount of work to find those startups. The sales team can't afford to go to a bunch of industry shows not to mention that startup-oriented expos rarely specialize in electronics. The result is that a sales team can spend a lot of unproductive time trying to find electronics startups. Eureka Park at CES, it would seem, is the exception to that rule. Occupying the ground floor of the Sands Expo, Eureka Park pro- vides small, compact booth space for start- ups. The place is packed with all sorts of companies; by my unofficial count, nearly 1,250 exhibitors, representing more than 30 countries of origin. Not all exhibitors are developing hardware; many are software only or integrating off-the-shelf components, at least for the time being. Equally as numerous at Eureka Park were the visitors. The floor was often packed like rush hour on a big-city subway. If a fabrica- tor or contract manufacturer were taking Nate Ramanathan's advice seriously, they would be here, talking to electronics startups in the throes of making the jump from prototype to production. With that in mind, I spent a couple of hours testing Ramanathan's claim by talking to some hardware-oriented startups. MintT First on tour was MintT, a Brussels-based company focused on medically intelligent tech- nologies. The tagline on their show brochure Eureka Park: Chock Full of New Customers for a Market-maker

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