Print 12 comment(s) - last by manaloother.. on Jul 11 at 8:38 PM

Up to four employees can pack together to form startup

Say what you will about Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj.'s (HEX:NOK1V) struggles in the market, but the company does deserve plenty of credit for a uniquely humane approach to employee layoffs.

While the company has committed to trim its ranks by 10,000 employees by 2013, the company has also announced an initiative called the "Nokia Bridge Program", an incubator project that gives seed money of €25,000 ($30,650 USD) or £20,000 ($31,000 USD) in the UK.

The funding is essentially a low-interest loan -- Nokia does not take an equity stake in the startups.  It also does not transfer patents to them, although it has worked out special licensing agreements with some startups looking to produce defunct Nokia projects.

One example of such a license is Jolla, a startup formed by fleeing Nokia executives, which looks to reboot Meego.  Nokia killed Meego when it opted to join ranks with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone brigade, but Jolla is working to revive the property.  (Intel Corp. (INTC), Nokia's co-partner on the Meego project has branched the project to a new tree under the name "Tizen".) 

A startup founded by ex-Nokiaers, funded by Nokia loans, looks to give the original Meego OS new life. [Image Source: Mobile Phones]

It is somewhat unclear, though, whether Jolla has a full intellectual property rights (IPR) license, or merely is permitted to use Meego under some other contract (the software is, after all mostly GPL licensed, although some APIs are LGPL licensed).

Over a hundred startups have been launced.  A few highlights, dug up by TechCrunch include: A requirement is that the employees launch their projects in the EU, though a few -- like Decode Global -- have been allowed to launch their startups overseas.

Up to four individuals can pool their loans together to form a single company, with roughly $120K USD in loans.  Nokia also is offering up to €50,000 ($61,300 USD) in follow-up financing to companies that show encouraging results.

Being laid off is never easy, but at least Nokia is giving hundreds of its employees an opportunity to make a bright future for themselves outside its corporate walls.

Sources: Nokia Blog, TechCrunch

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By Mk4ever on 7/10/2012 9:43:15 PM , Rating: 5
As a Nokia N900 owner, I really hate what Elop did to Maemo/Meego..

Still, this is the sweetest thing a company did to its ex-employees. This kinda give me hope that someone at Nokia is still keeping the Maemo/Meego guys close, for some reason..

RE: Respect
By vol7ron on 7/10/2012 9:51:20 PM , Rating: 1
Still, this is the sweetest thing a company did to its ex-employees.

idk. It sounds blah. The company is sinking and giving out loans. I would like to hear more about what the conditions of those loans are. How much interest? What's the payback period? What happens if the "company" defaults?

Then there's the fact that those loans aren't really for all that much. Sure, some money is better than nothing, but building hardware is expensive. If all they're looking at is software, than alright, but I'm not sure those loans would be enough to even pay for their salary, let alone to feed the company. All, in all, its a nice starter spot, but they still need other funding.

RE: Respect
By FITCamaro on 7/10/2012 11:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
$120,000 in investment capital is pretty good. The only issue will be the idiotic saps that take the money for some hair brained idea that fails and then they're out of a job and $30,000 in debt.

RE: Respect
By web2dot0 on 7/11/12, Rating: 0
RE: Respect
By FITCamaro on 7/11/2012 1:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Where did I say anyone is forcing them to take the loan? I completely agree it is "buyer beware".

Not all startups are created equal though. Some start up on ideas that have no real chance at ever producing a marketable product that anyone would pay for.

If you paid attention to any of my posts, you'd know I am all about people taking risks to make money. And that has to be accompanied by the acceptance of the consequences and hardships that come with failure.

Unfortunately liberals like to teach that no one should ever have to deal with the consequences of their bad decisions and failures.

RE: Respect
By BZDTemp on 7/11/2012 7:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
I think you view it wrong. Sure it may not be a ton of money but for a startup it can make a lot of difference, also consider if say 5 or 10 ex employees start something together then the money adds up.

RE: Respect
By MadMan007 on 7/11/2012 8:26:18 AM , Rating: 2
Up to four individuals can pool their loans together to form a single company

Still, it is nice of Nokia.

One also has to factor in the social support systems in Europe versus the US. $30k might be very little to tech employees in the US, or to use in the US, but it would go farther in Europe.

RE: Respect
By NellyFromMA on 7/11/2012 9:34:41 AM , Rating: 2
This article values the loans in USD, so in Europe I think USD actually goes less far than Euro's, and if they were paid in Europe it probabyl would be in Euros at that amounts equivalent.

I assume anyways.

RE: Respect
By NellyFromMA on 7/11/2012 9:32:22 AM , Rating: 3
The company wants to help fund entrepeneur-minded people it had to lay off and it's blah?

I'm curious what you think would not be blah? This is so highly above-and-beyond that it blows my mind anyone could find issue with this...

Then again, seeing as how people are so entitled these days, it actually doesn't surprise me at all...

What do you feel they are OWED if not this great opportunity to do something FOR THEMSELVES?

RE: Respect
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2012 9:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
Do you still use a BetaMax VCR? Just asking...

RE: Respect
By Mk4ever on 7/11/2012 1:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Nice try, but no.

I guess you've never tried Maemo/Meego more than a few minutes, if at all; otherwise you'd appreciate it more. It is more advanced than anything else.

Nearly a year ago, my Nokia N900 was stolen. A friend gave me a Samsung Galaxy SII to try it. 8 hours later, I decided to get another Nokia N900.

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note nearly five months ago. I am using it as a tablet (I'm used to small screens as opposed to 7" or 10" screens), for reading, GPS and movies. I tried several times to use it as my primary smartphone. I couldn't stand android.

If you want, I can give you a list of things Android can't do but Maemo can. But I don't suppose you are interested in that, are you??

Finally, I am waiting for WP8 to give it a try..

RE: Respect
By manaloother on 7/11/2012 8:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Cute, but look, Maemo/Meego is dead. Doesn't matter how good you think it is, it didn't sell ;)

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