PC Tech Magazine

Google is building Area 120, an internal startup incubator for staff

Google is in the process of creating an in-house startup incubator – dubbed Area 120, in a move to prevent it’s employees from leaving and starting their own companies, according to The Information.

The Information also claims that the incubator will be run by longtime Google executives Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz.

Teams within Google will submit a business plan and apply to join Area 120. If successful, the teams will get to work full-time on their idea for a few months. They’ll then have the opportunity to pitch Google for additional funding and create a new company (which Google will invest in).

While it is not unusual for companies to encourage entrepreneurship within their own ranks, as Google has done with its 20% allocated time to work on projects of personal interest, it is unusual for a company to create a designated division to allow employees to work round-the-clock on their own business plans.

Big 20% successes have included the development of Google News, Gmail, and AdSense.