Top venture firms put out call-to-arms for open source innovators

The Greater Boston startup scene is beginning to resemble the NICU at Mass. General — incubators everywhere. The latest is OpenIncubate, which launched Thursday, offering funding and workspace to entrepreneurs committed to open-source computing.

OpenIncubate is actually a small new network of open-source accelerator programs backed by venture capital firms in Massachusetts, California and Texas. Locally, Battery Ventures will provide financing and host teams at its Waltham office.

Two other OpenIncubate locations are launching in Austin and Menlo Park.

The programs are now accepting applications on a rolling basis. OpenIncubate has not disclosed the value of the investments up for grabs or set a cap on the number of companies it will accept, though Alex Benik, who is overseeing the incubator for Battery, wrote in a blog post Thursday that the firm plans to seed six to eight startups. Battery Ventures said if its Boston office fills up, more startups could work at the firm’s offices in California and Israel.


“I talk to large end-user customers in early adopter markets like financial services all the time, and they are demanding more control to build how and what they want in their data centers,’’ Benik said in a statement. “Movements like OpenStack and Open Compute are huge steps toward facilitating that, and we’re proud to be a founding member of this group as we stand up to support the technologists who can further meet customer demand.’’

In addition to money and workspace, open-source entrepreneurs who come to Waltham also will be mentored by Mike Afergen, general manager of the web experience division at Akamai.

“There is a tremendous amount of energy and intellect in and around Boston/Cambridge regarding open source, enterprise computing and web infrastructure,’’ Afergen said. “I’ve had my hand in both technical and business matters as Akamai has embraced these innovations to help lead the industry, and am looking forward to sharing these experiences with the next generation of entrepreneurs.’’

Loading Comments...