Ten Leading Open Source Innovators: Page 4

Posted February 21, 2007

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance

(Page 4 of 10)

4. Simula Lab

Location: Marina del Rey, CA

Product or Service: CoRE Network is a delivery platform for open-source projects. The CoRE Network serves as a hosting platform for developers, while enterprise customers can use it as an open-source marketplace.

Why it’s innovative: Part of Simula Labs’ value comes from consolidation. Various linked projects can be bundled and tested and then delivered as a software suite to IT customers. Simula Labs’ business model is based on support and maintenance. In addition to aggregating open-source offerings, Simula Labs intends to serve as an incubator for other open-source projects.

Most enterprise IT customers don’t have the time or inclination to sift through an array of open-source offerings to cobble together the right mix that meets their needs. At the same time, the reliability and maintenance of open-source products post-deployment remain concerns. Simula Labs’ believes that its model of hosting, packaging, and servicing open-source projects will spur increases in the enterprise.

What’s their track record? The company launched its product in November, so it’s too early to judge. Products being offered include those from Covalent Technologies, Webtide, LogicBlaze and Chariot Solutions. Simula Labs’ backers, Redpoint Ventures and Mission Ventures, have committed an additional $10-15 million to finance a half dozen or so startups that participate in the CoRE Network.

Funding: The company has secured $6 million in first-round funding from Mission Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.

What are the major obstacles to overcome? The company is uniquely situated in the market for the time being. However, it could face competition from application ecospheres, such as SalesForce.com’s AppExchange and SugarCRM’s SugarExchange, as they expand their reaches. These ecospheres leverage the momentum of broadly adopted applications to spur the acceptance of associated products. Of course, this added functionality increases the stickiness of the original application.

Who’s on the management team? Winston Damarillo, co-founder and managing partner, previously founded Gluecode Software, which was acquired by IBM. Chuck Winckler, CFO, also currently provides interim CFO support for Greenplum, Vativ Technologies, and Litex, and he was a manager with Ernst & Young LLP’s financial advisory services practice. Philip Dodds, CTO, was previously chief architect of Unity Systems. Natalie Burdick, VP of product management, was formerly VP of product management for the CRM division at FrontRange Solutions.

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