Thursday, April 09, 2009

Google: We Would Invest In A Space Elevator, But Only If It Worked Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Last week, the search engine giant known as Google launched a venture fund creatively known as Google Ventures, which the company will use to invest in startups in and outside of its main industry (example: cleantech, healthcare, bio-tech, etc.).

Erick Schonfeld from TechCrunch had a chance to interview both Google execs running the fund, Bill Maris and Rich Miner (the latter known for helping create the Android OS running on T-Mobile's G1 and other phones), and here is what they had to say regarding a potential investment regarding space elevators.

(TechCrunch) The day of the announcement, I chatted on the phone with Bill Maris and Rich Miner, the two Google executives who are managing the fund to get a sense of what they are interested in and how the fund will work.

It turns out they are open to investing in pretty much anything from the Internet and cloud computing to healthcare and mobile. "We don't want to artificially limit ourselves," says Miner. What about space elevators? "Show me one that works," retorts Maris, "and I will invest in it." The two of them will run the entire fund pretty much by themselves, bringing in other Googlers as needed for expertise and to help evaluate startups.

Note: Emphasis mine.
While Google is not shy about investing in space related projects (after all the founders helped launch the Google Lunar X-Prize a little over a year ago), there seems to be a high amount of skepticism regarding space elevators as a whole--at least among Googler engineers.

Perhaps the newly founded International Space Elevator Consortium could help convince Google that a space elevator is something worth investing in, as gaining the support from a public company could go a long ways towards convincing the masses that this long term project is indeed viable.

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