Nokia Gives Laid Off Employees $30K Loans to Start New Firms
July 10, 2012 5:04 PM
comment(s) - last by
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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7/11/2012 1:00:07 PM
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..
7/11/2012 8:38:38 PM
Cute, but look, Maemo/Meego is dead. Doesn't matter how good you think it is, it didn't sell ;)
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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