Nokia Gives Fleeing Employees €25,000 to Start CompaniesThose employees fleeing from the sinking ship of Nokia are getting quite a deal: €25 thousand in investment capital to start up innovative new companies. Known as the Nokia Bridge incubator, its goal is to keep unemployed ex-Nokians innovating, and to earn back a little of the face it lost among its crew after the latest set of layoffs.
As it stands, each ex-employee will be getting a sum of €25 thousand to invest in new ideas, and up to four people can come together for a total investment sum of €100 thousand. That's $122 thousand dollars at the current exchange rate. Nokia also offers coaching for the new entrepreneurs on how to manage a company.
Nokia Research Center
Most of the projects under development spawned from work already done at Nokia before the company's major strategic shift. Several new startups, for example, will be targeting Meego, which was Nokia and Apple's golden hen before Windows Phone 7. That said, the work the team takes with them has to be open to the public, because no intellectual property is transferred to the startups.
If Nokia deems any of the ideas particularly interesting, it can opt to invest an additional €50 thousand into them. And yet, the company takes no equity stake in the company.
This is a really smart move for Nokia. Not only does it appease the teeming masses of discontented employees, it fosters innovation and possibly promises dividends in the future. Startup incubation is a high volume, low success business, but one that only needs one success to be profitable. How clever of you, Nokia.
TechCrunch has a list of some of the startups currently in stealth mode that have sprung from the Nokia Bridge fund.