The combination of edge and 5G will propel $3 trillion in annual digital transformation this decade. What’s missing is a community bringing together innovative startups, platforms, and industry that focuses on doing, not hype. This is our mission.
Our developer friendly program is purpose built to leverage the entrepreneurial talent of startups with the entrepreneurial resources of enterprise companies. Our thesis focus has created a unique community of Founders building a variety of applications and infrastructure solutions. Our ecosystem approach is a first in the tech startup world.
We don’t believe in cookie cutter approaches which is why we aren’t an accelerator. 5G and edge are too dynamic for that. Twice a year (Spring and Fall) we welcome 15 startups to our ecosystem for a 12 week engagement. Each team admitted into our program creates their own outcomes for a tailored approach to growth and scale. During these 12 weeks we become your business advisor and open strategic doors to achieve your outcomes.
Partner with our Founding and Corporate Partners on an interoperable platform to effectively scale your technology
Co-Create Go-to-Market Opportunities and Enterprise use cases with our Founding and Corporate Partners.
Work with our network of 90+ co-investors (VCs and CVCs) that become your capital partners during scale
For many industries, Taqtile is the perfect poster child for “why 5G?” Identifying essential, real-world use cases that are priority for the Lab's enterprise Partners has been incredibly beneficial to Taqtile's product roadmap and sales goals, as well as those of the Lab’s Partners. It has taken the hype out of 5G and turned it into a business.Dirck Schou, Founder CEO, Taqtile
Coming into the program my goal clearly stated to the Lab was about BD. Jim and the team opened the right doors to enterprise customers and partners at the right time – customers that we wanted to work with but hadn’t been able to engage in any meaningful way.Dirck Schou, Founder CEO, Taqtile
At Transparent Path, we’re developing sensor technologies to capture and transmit origin, provenance and conditions data for food and packaged goods, and the volume of data being transmitted as well as the real-time nature of our platform will require the bandwidth benefits created by 5G. To surround ourselves with like-minded startups means we’ll be able to collaborate with others pushing the envelope of this new technology.Eric Weaver, Founder and CEO Transparent Path
5G unlocks new possibilities for Pluto to provide in-person like communication in VR and AR. We will need hands on experience with 5G networks to benchmark and learn about what is possible. Pluto is excited to leverage the lab for that experience and further develop our spatial communications service.Forest Gibson, Co-Founder of Pluto VR
We are super humbled to get so much traction with corporate partners like T-Mobile who is in the process of a joint PR event with Halo to push us into national media! This is the big coming out of the stealth moment for us. To be honest, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for Jim and the 5G Open Innovation Lab team and partners. I am super grateful for what we were able to achieve as part of the Lab.Anand Nandakumar, CEO & Founder Halo
The 5G Open Innovation Lab is so critical for us because we're actually able to work together all in one place with infrastructure providers like cable and telco companies, developers building all these crazy things like autonomous vehicles and drones to all the hardware companies like Intel and others that are building hardware to bring the experience closer to the end user. And for us we get to mesh all of them together to create what is edge computing.Antonio Pellegrino, CEO and Founder of Mutable
Founders' time is valuable, and there is frequently not enough time to discover complementary businesses with which to go to market. The program completely addressed this pain point. Through the program we met many complimentary partners such as Numurus with whom we are now partnering at the DoD. We would be missing major opportunities like this without having participated in the lab.Dirck Schou, Founder CEO, Taqtile
Focused on all aspects of the enterprise stack
• IaaS • PaaS • SaaS
Harnessing future use cases across edge compute and connectivity
• AI • Autonomous • Cyber Security • Distributed Computing • Enterprise XR • IoT • Real Time Data • Robotics
Growth segments with the highest applicability for private cellular networking, edge compute and connectivity
• Agriculture • Energy and Utilities • Enterprise Transformation • Healthcare • Manufacturing • Transport and Logistics
Our value to you as a startup founder or developer is giving you access to the best 5G ecosystem of corporate, technical and business partners to help you solve any technical or sales roadblock you and your team are facing.
You'll also have access to the best startups leading the way in edge and connectivity through our 45+ alumni network. If you're looking to grow into a new vertical or looking for a complimentary product to co-sell with, the alumni network is where you can make that happen on demand.
5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. The new network technology will deliver faster download speeds, real-time responses, and enhanced connectivity.
Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to improve response times and save bandwidth.
5G and edge computing combined will bridge the physical and digital worlds by connecting people, devices and data in new ways enabling networks to discern and adapt to change and ultimately deliver capabilities that make the network and business more intelligent. Our shared vision for remote surgery, precision agriculture, smart cities and autonomous everything will be realized, because of 5G connectivity and computing on the edge. Moving high volumes of data, at a faster speed, will require approaches to technology that enable real-time processing, and this will also fuel the need and adoption of edge computing.
No, the program is 100% virtual. Startups from anywhere in the world can apply.
Lasting 12 weeks, the Spring program starts Mid-March and the Fall program starts Mid-September. Founders need to allocate approximately 3 hours per week to attend 1:1s, executive roundtables and respond to strategic introductions.
Series A is a sweet spot for us because at this stage, this batch we have two series C companies and there the company elects the CTO and or CRO to be the lead contact with the focus of the engagement being about new customer introductions and product development.
No, we do not require startups to pay a fee or give up equity to be a part of the program.
We also look for traction and customer engagement. Many startups focus indiscriminately on their product which can lead to solution bias where founders try and fit their product into an existing market need/problem, as opposed to designing it first from a genuine customer/industry problem. Traction can take the form of monthly reoccurring revenue, monthly active users and also take the form of committed pilot partners, commercial contracts or proof of concepts. Viable 5G use cases need customers to support profitable businesses.
We will consider solo founders who have a solid team around them.
Because our program is purpose built for each startup, we accept all stage companies from seed and above. Timing is important, our program is best suited to startups who are already engaged with and built to meet enterprise demand.
You can apply at any time as we accept applications on a rolling basis. To make the interviews or the Spring program, applications should be in by November 15 and for the Fall program they should be submitted on or before May 15.
For the Spring Program (starting Mid-March) we hold interviews in December, notifying applicants in late January.
For the Fall Program (starting Mid-September) we hold interviews in June, notifying applicants in late July.
No, at present we do not invest in accepted companies. Admitted startups have access to our 90+ top and mid tier VC and CVC network. We facilitate these introductions in both directions, many investors tell us which startups they'd like to meet. Investors in our network include Venrock, March Capital, Touchdown Ventures, Intel Capital, Dell Technologies Capital and Mayfield.
Our Founding and Corporate Partners have funded the Lab and our programs. Technical and professional advice and discounted products and services are provided by our Technical and Business Partners, and all accepted companies have access credits from AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft for Startups (Azure).
No. We are growing a global ecosystem.
For startups wanting to fundraise from US investors through our VC network, formal presence here may be required (by the investor, not by the Lab). It’s obvious, but sharing just in case.
We accept 15 companies per program with two programs per year (Spring and Fall). Each program lasts 12 weeks.
The program is 100% virtual. Lasting 12 weeks, the Spring program starts Mid-March and the Fall program starts Mid-September. Founders need to allocate approximately 3 hours per week to attend 1:1s, executive roundtables and respond to strategic introductions.
There are 3 core activities we support startups on:
Product & Solution Deployment: Partner with our Founding and Corporate Partners on an interoperable platform to effectively scale your technology
GTM Opportunities: Co-Create Go-to-Market Opportunities and Enterprise use cases with our Enterprise Partners, fellow batch companies and alumni network
Round Syndication: Access our network of over 90+ Co-Investors that become your capital partners during scale
Each week we follow the following cadence:
Our program is more like portfolio management than it is like an incubator/accelerator.
There are plenty of great accelerators out there, their approach is often high volume, provide the same content and is often stage specific. They host sprints, office-hours, AMAs, panels.
Our program is about amplifying and extending startups existing product and BD efforts. It's about connecting startups to enterprise leaders to drive innovation for the entire ecosystem. We spend our time with founders making strategic introductions, hosting VP and executive roundtables to give founders corporate level market insights, and syndicating startups to more easily close their next round.
Through our Field Labs, startups can experiment and collaborate to develop commercially viable use cases. The foundation of the field lab is a dynamic testing platform with dedicated access to a 5G-capable, CBRS LTE private network. Each site connects to an edge computing environment allowing developers to tap into cloud computing capabilities essential for latency-sensitive and compute-intensive applications.
Starting with agriculture, this co-development platform is the first of many we plan to deploy in the future serving other industries. We believe that better connectivity and edge computing are the future and are working with our partners and ecosystem companies to make that vision a reality.
Accepted startups get access to T-Mobile's 5G network and sims.
The 5G Open Innovation Lab also has a robust Enterprise Co-investor network with over 80+ firms who moderately and actively engage with multi-stage companies that come through the program.
As companies come into our lab, we believe it’s important to introduce the right capital partners to help them scale, alongside the commercial efforts we’re facilitating. Investors typically engage with our startups on a quarterly basis.