Google has announced they are creating an in-house start-up incubator called ‘Area 120’.
That name is in reference to the famous Google mantra – spending 20% of your time on innovation;or better phrased by Larry Page and Sergey Brin: ‘20% of time working on what you think will most benefit Google’.
The ‘20%’ mantra has permeated businesses and theory of encouraging internal innovation. For Google this platform has created Google News, Gmail and Adsense. However, recent rumours have questioned whether the 20% time actually exists at Google anymore.
‘Area 120’ should help reinforce that it does.
It will work such that – teams or individuals within Google submit a business plan to Area 120; if successful they will then have the opportunity to work full time on the idea for an incubation period of a couple of months; and finally they will pitch their idea to Google for additional funding.
Interestingly enough, ‘Area 120’ coincides with pledge Larry Page made last year at the launch of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Page said one of the company’s goals was ‘empowering great entrepreneurs and companies to flourish’.
The notion of taking an incubator concept internal, is such a great idea. Nearly all incubators are focused on helping companies that sit around them…Google recognises the talent that’s sitting in it’s office, so taking the incubator back in house makes perfect sense.