We are not an accelerator, nor do we think you need to be accelerated. We are founder-friendly (equity and fee-free) because we strive to work with multi-stage teams from Seed to Series C. Unlocking partner potential is what we do best supported by unparalleled relationships into leading global platforms, enterprises, venture capitalists, and industry experts.
Building relationships with the right network is a game changer and force multiplier. Our program focuses on helping you generate traction based your priorities and goals; not ours. Throughout our program we focus exclusively on opening the right doors, enabling success with our partners, and networking you through our ecosystem.
Since we launched our program in early 2020, we have had the privilege to work with 101 (and counting) globally based teams who have raised over $1 billion in pre-program venture funding and over $602 million in post-program venture funding. Combined, our alumni have raised over $1.6 billion, and growing.
Enterprise startups building disruptive technologies:
You set your own goals, we provide the support to achieve them
1:1 intros to the right enterprise and industry partners and startups
Warm introdutions to thesis-aligned VC's
Access to unique partner offers, ISV's and SI's to accelerate sales motion
Expert guidance to refine your product for the enterprise, work with leading engineers from our partners
Use our Lab to ideate, build, experiment, integrate, test, deploy
Grow your network w/founders across stages, explore unique partnering opportunities
Our "no divorce policy" means we're in it for the long haul well past your iniial program. We play the long game
The 5G Open Innovation Lab was able to identify and connect me with highly engaged investors ahead of my next fundraise. And they even provided PR support for our fundraising announcement that garnered widespread coverage, including Venture Beat.Surbhi Rahtore/CEO, Co-Founder – Symbl.ai
I can’t recommend the 5G OI Lab program enough to my fellow founders. The Lab allowed us to gain a much greater understanding of where the industry is going so that we can better align our product roadmap, as well as enabling us to forge strategic relationships with key ecosystem partners that are critical to our success. The value we’ve received is tremendous.Sonia Kastner/CEO - Pano
My startup has been accepted into multiple accelerators, but none has been more professional, encouraging, and helpful than the 5G Open Innovation Lab (even though the Lab is far different from an accelerator.) From connecting us with Intel, who has become a fantastic partner, to creating beautiful and supportive video content, to scheduling webinars with venture capital leaders, to their support with PR and storytelling, to creating an atmosphere of camaraderie, rather than competition, among its cohorts, I can’t say enough positive things about the Lab.Eric Weaver/CEO - Transparent Path
Simetric’s selection for the 5G OI Lab is a true honor, and I know that to be true for other startups as well. Nowhere else can a young company, regardless of funding background, gain unprecedented exposure to the world’s leading technology companies. The benefits are beyond description. Any start up can have a vision for their potential, but to be afforded the chance to learn, incubate and possibly even sell with the 5G OIL technology partners can be achieved nowhere else but within this group. Simetric’s momentum achieved another gear that is directly attributable to the wonderful people of the 5G OIL.Kevin Bandy/President, CSO – Simetric
Expeto has seen immense value from our involvement with the 5G Open Innovation Lab, from helping establish valuable new partnerships with prominent companies to demonstrating the real-world applications of our NeXtworking platform. Through the collaboration of a variety of enthusiastic and like-minded innovators, the 5G Open Innovation Lab brings us one step closer to unlocking the full potential of 5G using applications that change 'the way things are done' across verticals.Michael Anderson/CEO – Expeto
“The 5G OI Lab is critical for us because we’re actually able to work together in one place with infrastructure providers, enterprise partners, developers building crazy things like autonomous vehicles and drones to companies like Intel and others building hardware. And we get to mesh all of them together to make the vision of edge computing a reality.”Antonio Pellegrino, CEO and Founder of Mutable
Directly as a result of our membership in the Lab, Taqtile is now engaged with several companies, including Intel, T-Mobile, Amdocs, Dell and Microsoft, testing real-world implementations of our solution for industrial workers over 5G networks and topology. Without the Lab, it would have been incredibly difficult or impossible for us to access these customers and testbeds. Our involvement with the 5G OI Lab has fundamentally changed our company’s trajectory and has opened up opportunities we would otherwise not have been able to access.Dirck Schou/Founder, CEO - Taqtile
I was introduced to the 5G OI Lab by a T-Mobile executive and have had the privilege to be associated with the lab for over 18 months now. The lab has been instrumental in key introductions to various partners as they are strategizing around 5G use cases. As Edge AI is one of the key use cases for 5G, building a reference architecture with LatentAI enables them to get the AI models to edge faster, cheaper and with less sophisticated AI resources. On a serendipitous note, the Lab also introduced me to an investor who further introduced me to a product manager from a Fortune 10 company that was exploring opportunities. That product manager now works for LatentAI. He was completely impressed with our vision and direction and decided to join us. Thank you 5G Open Innovation Lab!!!Jags Kandasamy/CEO, Co-Founder – Latent AI
Innovation requires investment. Through our venture capital program, we cultivate promising investment opportunities for our startups by facilitating introductions with our ecosystem of over 100 multi-stage co-investors (and growing) actively seeking enterprise deal flow. It's just one of the ways our collaborative approach helps startups succeed.
Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to improve application latency and use bandwidth in the most economical way. Understanding the use case for a specific emerging technology is important because it will drive business decisions.
5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. The new network technology will deliver faster download speeds, real-time responses, enhanced connectivity and supports cloud native application delivery. Edge computing, when enabled by 5G, 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
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.
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).
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
The time commitment is based upon the goals that you want to achieve. We host a bi-weekly (30-minute call), two Executive Roundtables each week (one hour each), and a bi-weekly cohort meeting for 30 minutes. We recommend that you allocate three hours per week. We will work with you throughout the program depending on the outcomes that you want to achieve.
We’ve been in your shoes. We know the challenges founders face every day. Our Lab connects you to unparalleled business-changing relationships with enterprise and industry leaders, and resources many startups wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
We put you in the driver's seat. Our program revolves around your goals powered by:
We work with companies in all stages of their development - our program is tailored to your specific growth. Series C companies elect the CTO and or CRO to be the lead contact with the focus of the engagement being about new customer introductions and product development.
We will consider solo founders who have a solid team around them.
Startups are chosen based on their application. Once we have selected the final candidates, we will conduct 25 - 30 interviews that are attended by our internal team as well as our Partners. We meet with our Partners, review all candidates and make a selection based on overall feedback.
We believe in a, "no divorce policy". Once you have participated in our program you are a lifetime member of our growing ecosystem. We will always be here when you need us.
No, we do not require startups to pay a fee or give up equity to be a part of the program.
No, we do not make an investment based on acceptance into The Lab. 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.
We will make an investment in select startups through our rolling fund.
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).
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:
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 look at many characteristics when selecting a startup. We want a startup that will be able to collaborate with our Partners and go to market. The Lab wants startups that are passionate about innovation and building whats next. Startups that are focused and driven to create and build an ecosystem of innovators. We are visionaries that will take all aspects of your startup into consideration but ultimately, want to help you become successful.
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.
We accept 12-15 companies per program with two programs per year (Spring and Fall). Each program lasts 12 weeks.
We accept companies at any stage. 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.
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.
Please email: [email protected]