New IP

CableLabs Spawns Startup Accelerator

Only a week after rebranding its for-profit spinoff company with the new name Kyrio, CableLabs is back and taking the wraps off a startup accelerator program called UpRamp.

This isn't your typical accelerator, however. Instead of taking early-stage companies into its incubator, UpRamp is targeting later-stage startups with a product or service already on the market. In a three-month program, UpRamp will expose four startups at a time to C-level executives from both CableLabs and its 55 MSO members. At the end of the short mentorship process, the goal is to connect participants with new customer deals and expand their networking reach within cable and broadband operator circles.

UpRamp is calling its program a "Fiterator" accelerator and describing it as an executive MBA for startups geared toward helping these companies "find true product/market fit within the global cable industry." The program is being led by CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney and CableLabs Head of Technology Outreach Scott Brown.

For more on cable market trends, check out our dedicated video services content channel here on Light Reading.

CableLabs has radically expanded its mandate since McKinney took over in 2012. Growing increasingly global, and with a bent toward innovation and expansion, CableLabs is adjusting to a cable industry in transition. Some of those adjustments are painful, as in a recent round of employee layoffs, but others are clearly positive. In addition to the rapid development of DOCSIS 3.1, as one example, CableLabs has started exploring new technologies that aren't specific to proprietary cable systems, including New IP architectures built on virtualized networks, virtual reality and carrier-grade WiFi.

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— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

MordyK 2/10/2016 | 7:16:19 PM
Brilliant! Both entrepreneurs and investors shy away from these sectors because of the difficulty in getting to market, so this should - if implemented correctly - be hugely beneficial to the entire ecosystem. I hope that this is successfull and other industries learn from this and create similar programs.

I would suggest that they also look at creating away from early stage startups to work with them, so that they can get market knowledge and awareness sooner. While this may not be suitable for a dedicated incubator, it can be done by working closely with third parties like VC's and other incubators and accelerators.
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