Ever since its opening in Bridgewater in 2012, Juniper Networks’ OpenLab has been a state-of- the-art facility embracing collaboration and educational opportunities for customers, partners, academics and others.
OpenLab has evolved into a global and virtual destination supporting demo development and hosting, partner solutions development, and hands-on training for new software-defined networking (SDN) and programmable networking platforms and solutions.
Now OpenLab will offer telecom startups and independent software vendors (ISVs) an opportunity to take part in a solutions incubator. Participants will have access to Juniper’s lab and other state-of-the art facilities and to its networking expertise, according to Jerry Passione, OpenLab’s general manager.
“This is a program targeted at software ISVs/startups that can benefit from a tighter integration with the Juniper network and deliver innovative capabilities to enhance the network’s value,” Passione told us recently.
Unlike typical accelerators or incubators such as TechLaunch or JuiceTank , which offer business development help, Juniper is offering technology incubation.
“We will be providing tech consulting assistance directly to participating companies to allow them to develop solutions that can be demonstrated to internal and external stakeholders,” he said.
Passione noted that the Juniper facility has coworking space to offer New Jersey companies or others who might want it, so they will be able to work on-premises.
“We will give them technical consultation and access to the lab, whether they are located in-house here or remotely, so they will be able to build and test a solution,” he added.
Passione said that Juniper will be offering companies that successfully complete and demonstrate a solution some promotional or go-to-market assistance.
NJTechWeekly.com asked Passione how the company intends to get the word out about this opportunity for startups. He said that OpenLab will be reaching out to many organizations in or near New Jersey with whom it has relationships — accelerators/incubators, industry associations, academic institutions, state organizations and VCs — to ask that they review the program. And Juniper Networks will be doing some broader promotion at the corporate level.
Juniper Networks does have an organization, Juniper Ventures, which can evaluate prospective investments in program participants, as it does today with other relevant technology companies. Juniper Ventures lists its areas of interest on its website: wireless (enterprise and carrier), video, analytics, automation, security, cloud, data center, networking, data storage, optical and green technology.
“Our goal is to have our customers get the most out of their network as a true strategic asset, and we realize we can’t do this alone. We need an ecosystem of partners and complementary applications that will run tightly with the Juniper portfolio,” Passione concluded.