Help at hand for exceptional start-ups

by The Times 100 on Monday 6th April, 2009

For budding entrepreneurs this could be the time to make the dream become a reality. Google Ventures (a new venture capital fund unveiled by Google) will focus on finding and helping to develop 'exceptional start-ups'. These could be from various industries including software, clean technology, biotechnology, health care or consumer internet.

Whichever industry the new idea relates to, it is important for the entrepreneur to register the concept with the Intellectual Property Office. Registering the idea gives protection and legal rights to the owner if it is copied. There are a number of ways an idea can be protected depending on the format - patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. New ideas are vital to business as they can lead to new products and services. Ideas can come through research and development in a business or from entrepreneurs, who can use them to create new businesses.

William Maris, a former entrepreneur hired by Google a year ago, and Rich Miner will be managing partners of Google Ventures. Varying sums, from seed money to tens of millions of dollars, will be invested by the fund with the aim of making a profitable business from the initial idea. Google Ventures has already invested in two companies: Silver Spring Networks, a company that makes technology to help manage electric grids, and Pixazza, a start-up that allows web publishers to earn money from images by tagging items, like clothing, with links back to where the items can be purchased (The Times, 31 March 2009).

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