Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Presentation

  • Gates&Hillman Centers
  • Reddy Conference Room 4405

Benefits and Perils of Using Open Source Code for Your Startup

Open-source software makes its source code publicly available for free modification and distribution by users. There are two major misconceptions about open-source software: it is hard to make money using it, and because it is ‘free’, there are no restrictions on using it for commercial purposes. However, there have been a number of recent CMU startups who have figured out ways to commercialize their research using an open-source model.

Elijah Mayfield, graduate of the Language Technologies Institute and CEO of LightSide Labs will share his experience with commercializing open-source software in educational technology. He will discuss how LightSide was founded, the open-source licenses they explored and chose to use, and the benefits and hurdles that they encountered when using such licenses. He will also talk about best practices for building software that interoperates between open-source and proprietary code, especially focusing on viral open source licenses like the GPL. CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation will also be available to answer any questions.


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