Google to create new startup incubator to fight talent drain

Google is launching yet another project with a mysterious, futuristic-sounding name.

The tech titan plans to create a new San Francisco-based startup incubator to nurture Googlers’ side projects and prevent them from defecting to launch new companies. The incubator, called “Area 120,” will allow certain Google employees to work full time on their projects, according to tech news site The Information, which cited “people familiar with the project.”

Employees will apply to join the incubator by submitting a business plan, according to The Information, and those that are accepted will have the chance to turn their idea into a Google-funded company. The goal seems to be to keep employees with big ideas at Google longer, and to give the company an early opportunity to grab a piece of promising new startups.

The incubator will be run by Don Harrison, Google’s vice president of corporate development, and Bradley Horowitz, the company’s vice president of photos and streams, The Information reported. The two are said to have discussed the incubator at a recent company meeting.

Photo: A man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View in November. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


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  • David McDory

    This isn’t in the public interest: this will only promote the further growth of one particular corporation and we see too much of the industry consolidation already. I would rather see more players on the market.

  • It’s not about holding on to the brightest people, but about the hidden potential what’s in their head, and reward them accordingly. THE really dreadful thing of companies like Google, Tesla, Apple, etc. is that they don’t respect “what’s not been invented within the company”, in other words, by outsiders. Both former employees who feel no appreciated as well as outsiders are therefore forced to start out for themselves. Who wants to get paid a salary + bonus if some already well-established company is going to benefit billions from what they’ve come up with? A company cannot do both: expect other companies to respect their IP and at the same time keep quiet about stealing someone else’s ideas. It happens!