Google Ventures to Invest $100M in Europe on Innovation
Google is targeting $100 million in new venture money in Europe to encourage entrepreneurs there to think about and develop new innovations that can be brought to life with the help of the search giant.
The $100 million fund was unveiled by Bill Maris, the managing partner of the company's Google Ventures arm, in a July 9 post on The Google Official Blog.
"Wander through the excellent Science Museum in London, and you'll see inventions that transformed history," wrote Maris. "Like Puffing Billy, one of the world's first steam locomotives; or Charles Babbage's difference engine, a Victorian predecessor to the modern computer; or penicillin, the wonder drug that revolutionized the treatment of disease. These marvels from the past still influence our lives today, and are tangible examples of how fearless exploration and entrepreneurship can literally change the world."
The idea of the new fund is to encourage similar innovations and the development of ideas, he wrote. "To help support the next generation of European entrepreneurs, today Google Ventures is launching a new venture fund, with initial funding of $100 million. Our goal is simple: we want to invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs, and help them bring those ideas to life."
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 in which companies can meet, learn, work and share, according to the group.
"We believe Europe's startup scene has enormous potential," wrote Maris in his post. "We've seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond—SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others. We can't predict the kinds of inventions the Science Museum might showcase 10+ years from now, but we do know European startups will be essential to this future, and we can't wait to see what they create."
Google is a frequent contributor to innovation efforts around the world.
In May, Google announced the expansion of its fledgling Tech Hub Network for entrepreneurial communities around the United States with the addition of the Austin, Texas-based Capital Factor. The Tech Hub Network is an initiative of the Google for Entrepreneurs program. Google launched the Tech Hub Network in September 2013 to help fuel the search giant's efforts in aiding entrepreneurial groups around the nation. Google launched its Google for Entrepreneurs project in 2012, which today supports more than 70 organizations in more than 115 countries around the world.
In March 2014, Google announced that it is giving $1 million to 40 global organizations that work with startup companies to encourage them to find ways to bring more women into the fields of business and technology. The program, called #40 Forward, aims to increase the number of women working within the communities served by the global startup-focused organizations by 25 percent in 2014.
In October 2013, Google expanded 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.
Innovation is a big part of Google, based on its similar efforts to pursue new ideas and investments. In September 2013, Google got involved in 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.
Back in April 2013, 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.