Worldwide, there are only few startups with network infrastructure for the telco industry on their radar. This is mainly because the telco market generally has high entry barriers and is dominated by established vendors. A challenging situation, especially for small startups, which results in the fact that the venture capital community has been very hesitant to make infrastructure-related investments. We want to change this situation! Therefore, Deutsche Telekom established the TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Center (TEAC) Germany in collaboration with Facebook and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). With the TEAC Germany, we want to make it easier for startups to enter the telco market to drive innovation and tackle telco infrastructure challenges in close collaboration with operators.
The newly established TEAC Germany is part of the global TEAC network, currently active in the UK (BT), South Korea (SK Telecom), and France (Orange). Following successful pitches to a panel of experts from Deutsche Telekom, TIP, and Facebook on March 20, 2018, in the Bonn, Germany, headquarters, I am happy to welcome the first three startups of the TEAC Germany acceleration program: Airrays, BISDN, and the 60 GHz technology team from Imec. By joining the TEAC, the startuos gain access to the latest network infrastructure, hardware and testing facilities. At the same time, they benefit from the collaboration and mentoring with Deutsche Telekom’s leading network engineers and contact to investors across the TEAC community. Additionally, they get to use co-working spaces at Deutsche Telekom facilities in Berlin and Bonn.
Airrays is a German, Dresden-based startup developing smart antennas with beamforming and tracing capabilities. The team from Berlin Institute for Software-Defined Networks (BISDN) developed a generic acceleration architecture for cost-effective scaling of NFV (Network Function Virtualization) infrastructure by transparently offloading data plane workloads from X86 to whitebox switches. The third TEAC startup began its R&D at the Belgium-based innovation hub Imec, and is commercializing open, interoperable 60 GHz active phased-array antenna technology to enable carrier-grade outdoor links with off-the-shelf WiGig transceiver chips. Company name pending.
TEAC Germany VCs
In addition, a group of German investors with a vision for deep tech have soft circled €100 million in venture capital funding, joining the global network of TEAC investors in the UK, France, and South Korea. These funds include Capnamic Ventures, Cinco Capital, Coparion, Freigeist, High-Tech Gründerfonds and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners.
Deutsche Telekom is excited to work with Airrays, BISDN, and Imec, and looks forward to continued collaboration across the wider TEAC network.
In addition to TEAC, Deutsche Telekom actively participates in TIP as co-chair of the mmWave project group with Facebook, co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Applied Machine Learning project group, and as host of a TIP Community Lab in Berlin. Deutsche Telekom’s Axel Clauberg, Vice President Aggregation, Transport, IP & Infrastructure Cloud Architecture, is Chairman of the TIP.
What is TIP?
Founded in February 2016, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is an engineering-focused initiative driven by operators, suppliers, integrators, and startups to disaggregate the traditional network deployment approach. The community’s collective aim is to collaborate on new technologies, examine new business approaches and spur new investments into the telecom space. The founding members – Facebook, Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Nokia and SK Telecom – have since been joined by over 500 carriers, equipment vendors and systems integrators.