As California tries to maintain its position as the nation's leader in high-tech innovation and startup activity, Google has turned to small tech and innovation-focused firms to build the resume of its venture capital investment arm: Google Ventures.
Recently the VC offshoot opened Startup Lab - a complex located at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California - that will house many of the company's invested businesses, providing them with many of the resources available at the Googleplex itself.
"We plan to be very active in 2011 in the seed space," Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, told Reuters. "Startup Lab is an expression of that interest."
Since its inception in March of 2009, Google Ventures has docketed more than a dozen small companies ranging in industry from mobile gaming to biotech to healthcare.
At its core, Google Ventures represents a fusion of a venture capital firm with a startup incubator - a mixture that Google hopes will generate new technologies and innovations, while also bolstering the software giant's intellectual assets.
Within the last few months, the company has been touting near-field communication for use in its Android mobile phones. The NFC technology allows information to be transmitted over short distances via radio signals, providing a gateway to the blossoming smartphone payment market that has already taken off in countries such as China and Japan.