Google’s “Area 120” is letting its employees build their own startups
It may be a huge global company, with ambitions far beyond simple search and services like Android and Chrome, but even Google doesn’t know where the next big tech innovation is going to be. That’s why it’s started up “Area 120”, a startup incubator headed by Google execs Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz.
According to The Information (via Business Insider), Area 120 is a small area of Google that allows for its employees to spend a few months working full-time on new ideas. Employees must first submit a business plan and apply to join Area 120. Once their idea has been approved, and they’ve worked on it full-time for a few months, they can then pitch to Google for more funding and the creation of a new company that Google will invest in.
For Google’s more entrepreneurial employees, Area 120 could be invaluable in getting a new venture off the ground. And what better way to launch a business than with Google backing you from day one?
Interestingly, it seems that Area 120 is a new way for Google to keep its “20% time” ethos intact, and adhere to Larry Page’s goal for Alphabet to empower “great entrepreneurs and companies to flourish”.
Google’s famous “20% time” encouraged workers to spend some of their working day tinkering away on new ideas. Thanks to that initiative, Google was able to launch highly successful services such as Gmail, Google News and AdSense. If Area 120 can provide both funding and time for an entrepreneur to give their project the time it deserves, we could see some fantastic new ideas out of Google.
The Information claims that Area 120 will be located inside one of Google’s San Francisco offices, and it’s not clear if it’ll extend over to Europe and the UK.