Yes, you heard it right. LinkedIn has recently launched its own [in]cubator where it promotes entrepreneurship within its employees. The term for it is intrapreneurship and it is no new concept but this in a way formalizes it (read this interview with Professor Ajay Dixit for more on Intrapreneurship). LinkedIn announced via a blog post about the [in]cubator as the "next step in employee-led innovation".
The [in]cubator was inspired by hackday, a Friday each month when employees are encouraged to work on just about anything they want. So, what happens at the [in]cubator?
Once a quarter, any LinkedIn employee can come up with an idea, put together a team, and pitch their project to the executive staff. If approved, the team gets to spend up to 3 months of dedicated time turning their ideas into reality.
Now, hackdays have become a part of the culture in many of the blossoming Indian startups as well. Flipkart has its own hack day which takes place at a grand scale (check out 2011 and 2012) and the likes of Innoz have also conducted Hackdays. Slideshare (now acquired by LinkedIn) had also conducted a hackday only for women. Startups are encouraging the trend and Friday evenings are being dedicated to more of information sharing and cultivating a culture of 'being curious.'
As a company grows, converting these hackdays and taking to the next level by incubating internal teams seems like the way forward. Check out more about the [in]cubator on the LinkedIn Blog.