Investment Banks Thinking Big? Goldman Sachs Solicits Start-Up Ideas From Employees With New Program

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Goldman Sachs is reportedly turning to its own employees in search of ideas for the next big start-up.

Earlier in the year, 500 teams of employees pitched the company their ideas for potential companies as part of the GS Accelerate program. Those that eventually survive the culling process will be allowed to leave their positions and run their new company with the bank’s backing.

“We found that getting things off the ground here across divisions or just anything riskier was harder than it should be,” Tanya Baker, head of the program, said. “With all the change and disruption in the industry right now, it’s not a problem we wanted to have.”

From all of the submissions the program generated, CNBC reports that five were chosen to move forward an receive funding. The successful teams are based out of New York, Salt Lake City, London, Hong Kong and Bengaluru. They have two away from their Goldman Sachs position to make these start-ups successful.

One of the companies, PinACL, is working on a way to automate updates for corporate network security amid frequent cyber-attacks. Currently, the program is capable of making 500,000 updates a day.

“Right now it’s very much tied to our internal infrastructure,” Baker said about the start-up. “The investment is to extract it in a way that it could be packaged and deployed elsewhere, and then commercialize it.”

Some of the other ideas selected included Scribe, an alternative investment market app, and Panorama, a storefront for user-generated programs.

A sign is displayed in the reception area of the Sydney offices of Goldman Sachs in Australia, May 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters/David Gray