Bill Gross of IdeaLab talks to Don Dodge about his incubator

Uploaded by GoogleDevelopers on 16.08.2012


MALE SPEAKER: So here we are at Idealab.
And this is the central section of Idealab where we
have all the shared services, so each of these groups here.
We have Human Resources and Engineering and Design and PR
and Finance.
And each of these are areas that help the companies get
started and then also focus on their customer.
Our whole goal is to provide all of the services that are
more of the heartache functions of growing a
business, so the company can focus only on what the needs
are of the customer and build a product that will satisfy
them the greatest.
And we start the companies right in one of these pods.
And then, once we decide it's something that we want to
actually build and incorporate, we'll move them
over to another part of the building.
We'll capitalize it with the first, say, $250,000.
We'll have someone come in as the beginning or founding CEO
or founding executive.
And then our recruiting department will help them fill
out the engineering team.
But at the beginning, it will be using Idealab resources.
So it will be using the Idealab engineering staff-- we
have programmers on staff--
and borrowing all those resources to help them get
started as fast as possible.
And gradually, they'll replace them with their own people.
Eventually, when they grow to 100 people, they move out of
the building.
But I'll take you in a second to where the companies start
out, where we have room for a five-person company, a
10-person company, a 20-person company, a 30-person
company, and so on.
And the facilities department here moves all the companies
around, so they're always in the optimal
space for their stage.
MALE SPEAKER: Here, we have different pods for different
size companies.
And each of these teams are independent companies.
Now you can see there's no tall walls or anything
separating one company from another.
They're all in the same shared space.
In fact, the whole Idealab building is 45,000 square
feet, all on one floor, all very open space.
The whole goal is that there's the most information sharing
and knowledge transfer from one company to another.
No two companies are competing with one another, so there's
no chance of any trade secrets or anything like that being
misshared between companies.
But this company here, which is a solar energy company, and
this company here, which is doing mobile retail loyalty,
they might have nothing in common, except their VPs of
Marketing might talk together about strategies for marketing
their companies more effectively.
Their CEOs might get together and talk about fund raising.
We would have a lunch for all of the CTOs across all the
companies in the building, so they
could share best practices.
We're always bringing in lecturers to talk to the
companies about best practices.
Well, the main thing is they're right
adjacent to one another.
And they're working together in the same space.
And they're learning about how to be successful as a company.
Right now, in the building, we have 12 companies.
When the companies grow past 100 people, they
have to move out.
And we have 25 companies, overall, in the whole
portfolio at Idealab right now.
MALE SPEAKER: 25 companies.