November 2021 Community Newsletter

November 2021 Community Newsletter

November 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the November newsletter from the 5G Open Innovation Lab.

This past month has seen a big exit for one of our alumni startups, the launch of our new video series profiling a number of our founders and startups, an exciting and successful drone test at the Ag Field Lab, the unveiling of our new rolling fund to invest in the future and more. 

Lab Startup MixComm lands $135M Exit; Q&A wih the CEO

Our Batch #2 alum, Mixcomm made big news this month when it announced its acquisition by Sweden's Sivers Semiconductors in a whopping $135 million deal. It's a thrill to see how our ecosystem is helping cutting edge startups like MixComm build the future of 5G with its market leading mmWave technology.

CEO Mike Noonen (2nd from left) and the MixComm leadership team

We caught up with CEO Mike Noonen to learn more about MixComm's solutions and how the deal will significantly accelerate the development of next-generation 5G enabled use cases:

What makes MixComm unique and differentiates you from competitors?

Mike: MixComm has created a better mmWave radio with higher output power, increased efficiency, and optimal integration. This means 5G mmWave can be deployed at a lower cost and with much higher reliability. MixComm is unique because of our use of RFSOI, our novel, ultra-high efficiency architecture, and our “antennas to algorithms” capability.

What has it taken to reach this milestone? How has MixComm been able to achieve its leadership position in 5G mmWave?

Even though MixComm is a relatively young company, founded in 2017, we got a significant head-start through the exclusive license of mmWave and RFSOI technology developed at Columbia University over 10+ years. MixComm has also attracted a “dream team” of the leading mmWave and antenna experts. In addition, MixComm is fortunate to have incredible partners such as GlobalFoundries, Richardson RFPD, Rohde & Schwarz, Sanmina and of course, the 5G Open Innovation Lab!

What type of scenarios/use cases do you see MixComm enabling in the future?

MixComm’s strategy is to accelerate 5G mmWave deployment and maximize its potential. With our merger with Sivers Semiconductors, we will be able to address every 5G scenario: mobile networks, fixed wireless access, enterprise private networks, and even transportation.

What advice do you have for other growing companies like MixComm?

Two pieces of advice: Stay focused by deciding “what not to do”, and embrace partnerships to get to “whole product” and broader customer engagements than you can do on your own.

How did your collaboration with the 5G Open Innovation Lab ecosystem help accelerate your success?

Mike: The 5G Open Innovation Lab has made a huge impact on MixComm. Our participation opened up an ecosystem that would have been difficult if not impossible to access on our own. The introduction to potential investors and founding partners such as T-Mobile has been transformative for our company. Thank you 5G Open Innovation Lab team for your awesome and on-going support!

New Video Series: Meet the Founders Building What's Next

What does it take to build the future? This month we launched a new series of videos featuring some of our leading founders and partners taking us inside companies going beyond what's next in Industry 4.0, from IoT to agriculture, autonomous vehicles and much more.

Hear the fascinating insights as they discuss what's possible in a better connected world and computing at the edge to solve some of the biggest challenges industries face. We'll be debuting new videos regularly throughout the fall. Watch the videos on our YouTube channel.

Drone To Cloud Pilot Showcases Future of Massive Data Movement, Widespread App Deployment

On a recent beautiful fall day, a group of our partners and startups eagerly gathered at our Ag Field Lab at Swans Trail Farm in Snohomish, WA. for what would be the first successful drone-to-cloud data gathering and analysis to provide farmers with critical insights about the health of their fields in near real-time. This important milestone furthers our ecosystem's efforts to accelerate and exploit the vast capabilities of 5G and edge computing to empower app developers across a broad spectrum of industries and use cases. 
It was thrilling to see how our partners working together could distribute 10s of GB of 4K drone images across our private network, reduce data transferred to the cloud by 1500%, and shorten the time from data capture to analysis from several days to mere minutes.

You can read all about the test here.

Investing in the edge: new lab fund targets $7 trillion market

Digital transformation is impacting every industry thanks to the power of cloud, edge computing, wireless (5G), and next generation applications. Analysts predict global IT spending will reach nearly $7 trillion over the next several years.

That spending is creating massive opportunities for founders and investors alike to tap the vast new markets influenced by Industry 4.0. But where do you even begin to find the true gems?  Join top founders and Lab managing partners on November 17 for an in-depth discussion about the development of new enterprise solutions and market-making enabled by the future of wireless (5G) and edge computing. 

At this session we will also be introducing the 5G Open Innovation Rolling Fund, a new investment fund leveraging our unique program, partnerships and access to leading enterprise minded startups.  

Participants Include:

Anand Nandakumar - Founder/CEO - Halo.Car

Amar Kapadia - Co-Founder/CEO - Aarna Networks

Kevin Bandy - CSO/President – Simetric

Chris Judd - Co-founder/CEO - Metrolla

Jim Brisimitzis - Founder/General Partner - 5G Open Innovation Lab

Kevin Ober - General Partner - 5G Open Innovation Lab Rolling Fund

The event is free and open to all interested. 

Register here

Startup Spotlight: Fighting Fires with AI

A screenshot of Pano in action, detecting a wildfire in Northern California (Pano image)

When a potentially devastating wildfire broke out this fall in Sonoma, CA., remote cameras and AI-powered platforms developed by Batch #4 startup Pano detected it quickly and alerted authorities, who responded and contained the blaze.

It's just one example of Pano's advanced hardware and software solutions for fire professionals and emergency managers provided via a connected, intelligent platform to detect wildfire threats, confirm fires and disseminate information to responders faster than ever.

As wildfires increase in frequency and intensity every year, numerous agencies across the fire-prone western U.S. have been deploying Pano to quickly identify, contain, and respond to devastating wildfires, protecting lives, property, and our forests.  Among the company's growing customer base is the Big Sky, MT resort, where Pano's technology quickly detected a nearby wildfire and helped authorities respond and contain it before it could cause significant damage. Read the story here. It's extremely gratifying to work with companies like Pano developing solutions with such potentially profound impact.

Collaborating To Ensure The Future of Food

How can AI, ML and other modern technologies solve some of the most critical issues and challenges facing our future food supplies?

Our Managing General Partner Kurt Steck recently joined the kickoff meeting for the AgAID Institute to share his thoughts on the application and enablement of technology, obstacles to address, and the partnership opportunities that exist with the 5G Open Innovation Lab and its community. 

The AgAID Institute is a public/private partnership across multiple academic research institutions focused on AI, agriculture, and human systems that will produce sustained agricultural productivity to meet future food demands. 

The institute shares many of the beliefs of the 5G Open Innovation ecosystem: that the most difficult problems are solved through broad collaboration across stakeholders and experts focused on real-world problem solving; by working directly with growers to ensure value creation; and potential for scaled impact.  We look forward to an ongoing and interactive partnership with the AgAID community.  Feel free to reach out to Kurt to learn more.  

partner news:

Lab partners Avanade, Dell Among America's Most Loved Workplaces

Newsweek magazine has just released its first ever ranking of America's "Most Loved Workplaces", and we were thrilled to see Lab partners Avanade and Dell high up the list.

Newsweek says the list is different from other similar rankings because they measure how employees actually feel about their company, not just whether the pay and benefits are any good.

Dell ranks number two on the list, with the magazine saying the Round Rock, TX. based company provides "great opportunities for growth within the company, which provides formal mentoring, networking and individualized development programs. Stretch assignments? Yup, got those, too."

Seattle-based Avanade comes in at an impressive #31, with Newsweek saying: "A techie’s dream, including global hackathons, innovation challenges and coding competitions. Plus, “geek allowances” are given to employees to ensure they’re up on the latest tech."

Congratulations to both companies for the recognition. You can see the entire list here.


T-mobile targets retail transformation

"Retail is an area that’s ripe for disruption and we see a tremendous opportunity to engage consumers in new ways. Shopping inside virtual stores from the comfort of your own home and exploring products in 3D are just the start of where the industry is going, and I can’t wait to experience what comes next.” - Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile U.S.

Lab founding partner T-Mobile and T-Labs, Deutsche Telekom’s research and development unit, recently launched T-Challenge, a worldwide competition for startups, developers, researchers and designers to submit innovative research and solutions for using 5G networks and extended reality (XR) technology to transform retail. T-Challenge is designed to fuel new innovations in how consumers shop, using immersive XR experiences in stores, at home and on the go.  Check out the details here.

Expeto CEO to Keynote Fierce Wireless E5G Show

Michael Anderson, CEO of Expeto, an inaugural Lab startup, has been selected to keynote the prestigious E5G Show.  Presented by Fierce Wireless, the E5G show brings together an ecosystem of wireless connectivity innovators eager to drive 5G into the heart of enterprises’ digital transformations. The event is sure to spur some of the most forward-thinking and disruptive conversations on enterprise 5G happening today.
Michael’s session, “Experience on the Field with the Enterprise 5G Deployment Options,” will discuss key considerations, challenges and benefits of deploying an in-house enterprise 5G network service. By providing the power of control to their IT management teams, enterprises can utilize 5G Private Mobile Networks (PMNs) to rapidly deploy valuable 5G applications and manage them in real-time, creating significant operational improvements.  A perfect example of this is the recent use of a drone at the Ag Field Lab to provide farmers with critical insights about the health of their crops in real-time.
The Fierce Wireless E5G show runs from Nov16-18 and is completely virtual and free. Click here to register. Michael’s session is on November 16th at 11am EST.

Posted October 29, 2021

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