Nokia Gives Laid Off Employees $30K Loans to Start New Firms
July 10, 2012 5:04 PM
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Up to four employees can pack together to form startup
Say what you will about Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj.'s (
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
. Nokia killed Meego when it opted to join ranks with Microsoft Corp.'s (
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
(wireless network measurement and monitoring)
Mobile Brain Bank
(mobile strategy consulting)
(more ex-MeeGo folks, mobile professional services)
(London-centric kid-friendly app)
(Canadian social change mobile app incubator)
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.
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7/10/2012 11:13:18 PM
$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.
7/11/2012 8:59:01 AM
No one is forcing them to take the loan. Ever heard of buyer beware?!?!? They are all grown ass men, they will make their own decision. Don't think you are smarter than everyone else, because you are not.
Startup fails and/or succeed. That's what drives the economic engine and creativity. That's the way things work .... in the real world. You can't handle failure, go get a job like everyone else. Safe and secure ....
People who take their money to start an company aren't "idiotic saps". They are highly education/intelligent individuals who is willing to take a risk.
7/11/2012 1:44:17 PM
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.
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