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Google Ventures Launches with “We May Steal Your Idea” Caveat


If you’re a start-up that’s making moves despite the recession, Google wants to hear from you. Specifically, Google Ventures–the newly launched venture capital arm of the search giant–wants to hear from you.

Google Ventures has around $100 million to invest and is interested in "early stage investments across a diverse range of industries, including consumer Internet, software, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care"–basically any hot company seeking seed finance.

According to the NYT, Google Ventures has already made two investments:

Silver Spring Networks, a company that makes technology to help manage electric grids, and Pixazza, which links online images with related products that can be purchased. Google declined to say how much it invested in those companies.

Now, before you go sending big brother your killer business plan, keep in mind that–like most VC firms–you’re practically giving Google Ventures the right to steal your idea and not pay you a penny.

Note the disclaimer language on the site (emphasis added):

We welcome new ideas. However, please do not send us information that you consider to be confidential or proprietary. Because of what we do, we receive a high volume of business plans, presentations, pitches, memos – you get the picture – and because these materials are often similar, because they come to us in a variety of forms, and because we read a ton of stuff, we cannot and do not accept responsibility for protecting against the misuse or disclosure of any information unless we have expressly agreed (in writing) to do so.

In other words, send us your business plan but if we don’t invest and instead launch a competing service, you’re, er, SOL buddy.