Google Ventures Launches $10,000 Startup Referral Program For Employees

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If you’re a Google employee and you know about a stealth startup that wants funding, you can pocket a cool $10,000. The Google Ventures team announced the new program at Google’s weekly all-hands “TGIF” meeting, earlier this afternoon.

It’s pretty straightforward. If a Google employee knows about a startup that Google Ventures might be interested in, they fill out a form on an internal website. They state why they like the startup, and they need to be prepared to give a “warm introduction” to a key employee at the startup. If Google Ventures invests, the employee that referred the startup gets the $10,000 in cash.

It’s modeled on Google’s in house employee referral program, Google Ventures partners Bill Maris and David Krane tell me, although the payout is much higher for startup referrals.

Within a few minutes after the meeting they’d received ten referrals, and most of the company is still unaware of the program. By Monday, all 25,000 Google employees will have the details, and be on the lookout for promising startups.

There are more programs coming to help Google Ventures get deal flow, says Maris. In the near future they’ll announce more “unique, haven’t-been-tried-before, outside of the box type ideas that will apply to people who aren’t Google employees, too.

In the meantime, if you know of a startup that would be right for Google Ventures, I highly recommend looking up ex-TechCruncher, current Google Ventures employee Laura Boychenko. I’m sure you can cut some kind of deal with her where she gets the referral money and then splits it with you.

Kidding, kidding. Everyone calm down.