Open Compute hardware startups can now lean on the support of an accelerator program backed by Battery Ventures, The Valley Fund and Austin Ventures. Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOm reports that according to Cole Crawford, the current COO of the Open Compute Project, $3 million is expected to be made available through the program. The Valley Fund is new and will include Nebula co-founder, Steve O’Hara as one of the partners. Nebula is an OpenStack cloud computing firm.
The program appears to be as much about supporting open compute hardware development as it is to position the three backers as true players in IT infrastructure. Whatever the motivation, it’s good to see further momentum building up behind open compute hardware.
While details are scarce, the dollar amount seems small for truly backing any hardware-related projects, although the focus could broaden over time to interesting efforts such as the winners of the most recent Open Compute Hackathon. And in general, these sorts of special interest funds and accelerators are generally more about marketing than actually raising a dedicated fund. For the most part, the iPhone funds, the Big Data funds and the Google Glass collectivesare a way for venture firms to put their flag in the ground when a new technology comes around.