Using FIRE to reduce risk for SMEs

Small businesses and startups that need to test the validity of new products or services have much to benefit from FIRE facilities. One example is an SME involved in the CityFlow project, which is using FIRE to test a network signalling platform at high scale. CityFlow is using the virtual wall Ofelia testbed to emulate the network control plane of a city with 1 million users. By emulating a high volume of user transactions and injecting these transactions into the signalling platform, performance at high volume can be evaluated. Access to this platform, via OFELIA or Fed4FIRE projects, can help reduce technical risks.

Despite these benefits, small businesses still face several hurdles in using such testbeds. Chief among these is finance, because many startups are in a catch-22 situation. It is hard to raise funds to validate the product or service until the venture capital community is confident that users will accept the solution. But without some form of financial backing, startups lack the money needed for acceptance testing. One possible way of filling these gaps could be addressed by the Horizon 2020 programme by offering pre-financing to start-up companies to validate their products and supplying them with existing user communities and product and marketing expertise.

Source: FUSION - Connecting SMEs to Future Internet and Idea-London incubator