Google opened a new program for developers today (official blog post here) they’re calling ‘Google Gadget Ventures.’ The idea behind the program is to give successful developers in their Gadgets platform a chance to take their pet project further, and even perhaps turn it into an actual business.
Currently, the program is offering two types of funding. Mini $5,000 grants are available to developers who want to take it their projects up a notch. And if you can really convince them, they’re willing to even provide $100,000 seed investments to those looking to build a business around their Google Gadget.
The program is restricted only to developers who generate 250,000 weekly page views and more with their Google Gadget, and a detailed business proposal/plan is needed to apply. Interestingly, Google isn’t looking for any returns based on their grants.
While you can’t really praise a multi-billion dollar corporation too much for throwing a few thousand to the better of their own key platform, I think it’s quite cool that they’ve acknowledged the fact that there is a community and that, however much it may be, there is potential for kickass stuff to come out of it. Additionally, It helps them in attracting developers to build something in the first place, and with the competitive widget/gadget space, I won’t be surprised if someone like Microsoft follows.