Open source is the backbone for Startups
Many startups are entering in to the business due to open source. Open source acts as a back bone / pillar for their business. It reduces the cost of production, Generates revenue from consulting and support. This article describes about the startups which flourished because of open source. Sun acquired MySQL for $1Bn is the biggest achievement for open source startups.
Usually startups use open source products as it reduces the cost of production as they cannot afford to buy commercial software licenses. Google, Twitter and Facebook and many other companies who started their work with using open source products.
Few startups companies produce / develop open source products and they make revenue from support. They call it as FOSS businees model which helps them to grow faster. Acquia is from Drupal creators, Lucid Imagination from Lucene contributors, 10gen from MangoDB creators and lot more. There exists some startup behind any successful open source product.
Every startup cannot create open source product but they could extend or provide consulting and support. Cloudera extends Hadoop and provides various training and consulting. Many startup companies are providing training and consulting to the open source products. Googling for "hadoop consulting" or "mysql consulting" will list numerous service providers across the globe.
Open source cloud startups are the buzz word now. Venture capitalist are investing heavily in these companies, Eucalyptus, Gluster are few examples. Clearly open source has given different opportunity to own a company. It created many entrepreneurs.