Google is increasing its efforts around the world to help entrepreneurs make their ideas and dreams come to life through an increased partnership with UP Global, a nonprofit group that works to foster entrepreneurship.
"Today we're announcing a new partnership with UP Global, which will double their impact over the next three years," wrote Mary Grove, director of the year-old Google for Entrepreneurs project at Google, in an Oct. 16 post on the Google Official Blog. "UP is currently active in 500 cities globally, and with our partnership aims to be in 1,000 cities by 2016."
The expansion of Google's efforts in helping to encourage entrepreneurship around the world comes on the heels of several other moves the search giant has made over the last several years. In 2012, Google launched its Google for Entrepreneurs project, which today supports more than 70 organizations in more than 115 countries around the world. Google was also involved back in 2010 with the launch of the Startup Weekend project, which are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch fledgling startups.
"Startups and entrepreneurs lead the way in creating innovative products that improve lives and drive significant economic and social impact," wrote Grove. "A robust community of entrepreneurs—paired with resources, mentorship and technology—can thrive."
The expanding efforts between Google and UP Global will help grow the existing Startup Weekend programs, and will help power other programs, including Startup Digest and NEXT, to directly connect entrepreneurs with training and event resources around the world, wrote Grove.
Google has been a significant partner to UP Global in the organization and spread of the programs, according to a Google spokesperson who asked not to be named.
"In a lot of places, it is not a viable career option to become an entrepreneur," which is something Google and UP Global are trying to change, the spokesperson told eWEEK.
Marc Nager, the CEO of UP Global, said in a statement that the program expansion with Google will help the group reach even more innovators who presently have no ways to share their ideas. "With this ambitious growth phase and the impact of localized programs, UP can educate and inspire over half a million aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide in the next three years," he said.
The Google/UP Global partnership gains from the capabilities of both organizations, said Google's Grove. "UP Global has a proven record of opening doors and expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs, and we are excited to help them expand their reach significantly over the next months."
The Google for Entrepreneurs project is designed to help entrepreneurs find local programs and online resources to create and launch businesses that can carry out their dreams, according to the company.
Innovation is a big part of Google, based on its similar efforts to pursue new ideas and investments.
In September, Google said it was getting into the world of health care with the creation of Calico, a company that will work to find ways of improving the health and extending the lives of human beings. Calico is a startup that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases, according to the company. Many of the details behind the new operation, however, have not yet been announced, including just what that goal means and how Google will take on its mission in these areas.
Calico wasn't the first health care-related initiative undertaken by Google. Back in 2008, Google launched its Google Health initiative, which aimed to help patients access their personal health records, no matter where they were, from any computing device, through a secure portal hosted by Google and its partners, according to earlier eWEEK reports. Google Health eventually shut down in January 2013.
Back in April, Google's investment arm, Google Ventures, launched a new "Glass Collective" organization to seek out and nurture startups that can add features and capabilities to the still-nascent Google Glass project. The Glass Collective was set up to encourage and capture more of the future possibilities of Glass, according to the company. Google Ventures was founded in 2009 as a venture capital fund that would work with portfolio companies full time on design, recruiting, marketing and engineering, according to the company. Google Ventures also includes a Startup Lab, which is a dedicated facility and educational program where companies can meet, learn, work and share, according to the group.
Google Ventures said it plans to invest more than $1 billion in the next five years on many types of innovations that can help drive Google forward. So far, Google Ventures has invested in more than 100 companies, including Nest, Kabam, Homeaway, SCVNGR, ngmoco and Whaleshark Media.