LinkedIn Unveils Supported Employee Innovation Program, [in]cubator

By Cameron Scott 

[in]cubator, linkedin, employee innovation, social networksLinkedIn announced today a program to support employee innovation projects within the company.

Every LinkedIn employee will have the opportunity to pitch a project to the executive team once per quarter. If the project is approved, the employee and his or her assembled team will get up to three months building out the idea.

The so-called [in]cubator program stems from LinkedIn’s hackday program. A group of employees who had won several hackdays pitched the program for internal support as a way to realize more of the ideas created in the hack sessions.

“In a sense, [in]cubator was itself the first [in]cubator project,” LinkedIn’s senior vice president of engineering, Kevin Scott, wrote in a blog post.

Five projects have already gained approval, Scott said. One, already in use internally at LinkedIn, is a meeting scheduling tool that overlays the schedules of meeting attendees with the availability of the company’s various conference rooms.

“We’ve seen proposals for internal tools, new product and business lines, infrastructure improvements, and human resources programs. The teams have included folks from all over the company, including engineering, product, design, marketing, sales, and human resources,” Scott wrote.

Proposed projects will be judged by a panel including Scott, CEO Jeff Weiner, co-founder Reid Hoffman and the SVP of products and user experience, Deep Nishar. The execs will also act as an advisory panel for approved projects.

The incubator program was first reported in Wired yesterday.