Summary:

Investors from three venture firms are joining to launch OpenIncubate and support the rise of startups keen on advancing open-source hardware and software.

Open compute on tray

All systems are go for OpenIncubate, a new accelerator seeking startups focused on open IT infrastructure. Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and The Valley Fund are behind the accelerator, which plans to officially launch Thursday and hopes to shake up staid, proprietary corners of IT.

We’ve already seen enterprise-focused accelerators and hardware accelerators cropping up. OpenIncubate takes from each of those categories, targeting open-source IT.

Its doors will be open to any companies or teams that are working on software, Software as a Service (SaaS) and/or hardware and want to address the software-defined data-center vision through open-source technology, according to a press release. Participants will need to be in Austin, Texas; Menlo Park, Calif.; or Boston in order to get working space and access to advisors.

What sorts of companies might be ripe for participation? Think of NoviFlow, a young OpenFlow-enabled switch maker, or Cumulus Networks, an ambitious startup with an operating system for commodity switches. Companies innovating around OpenStack and the Open Compute Project could also be a good fit. Both of those initiatives get prominent links on the left rail of the OpenIncubate website.

There’s no official word on how money has been allocated to the new project. My colleague Stacey Higginbotham had heard the figure was $3 million. Regardless of the number, nurturing from investors who have already become known as backers of innovative open-source oriented and enterprise-focused startups could propel OpenIncubate graduates toward success.

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