At Google's weekly all-hands "TGIF" meeting, earlier this afternoon, the Google Ventures team announced a new program that lets Google employee help a stealth startup that wants funding, to pocket a cool $10,000.
In simple words, "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 tells, 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'll apply to people who aren't Google employees, too.