The 5G Open Innovation Lab (5G OI Lab), a startup program funded by T-Mobile, Intel, and NASA, today revealed its second cohort of companies.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based lab debuted in early May and wrapped up its first 12-week program in July. It aims to help entrepreneurs take advantage of 5G technology and build connections with a variety of partners from the public and private sphere.
Unlike many accelerators and incubators, the lab does not take equity stakes in the startups. But the sponsoring companies get early access for potential venture investments and are part of the cohort selection process. They also get a chance to work with early-stage startups that could end up being the next billion-dollar tech giant.
The lab is also a founding member of a Washington state “Innovation Partner Zone,” an alliance developed by the Department of Commerce to help spur collaboration between institutions, government organizations and companies. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Snohomish County, Washington State University (WSU), the University of Washington, T-Mobile, and the City of Bellevue are part of the “5G Open Innovation Zone,” in addition to the lab.
5G is the next generation of wireless service that is expected to pave the way for smarter cities, faster downloads, self-driving cars, and countless other innovations that are hard to predict, just as tech stalwarts such as Uber and Snapchat couldn’t be anticipated until 4G and LTE made their business models possible.
Here are the 16 new companies, with descriptions from the lab:
Bluebox Labs: Bluebox uses Co-pilot to offer an affordable software ecosystem for any car, providing security, convenience, and savings to the user.
FreedomFi: FreedomFi uses commodity hardware, open source software and CBRS shared spectrum to build cost efficient private LTE networks and future 5G IoT deployments.