The Seeds of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation is often symbolized by the image of a few friends toiling in a garage at night to create something new and disruptive.  Many of today’s industry giants were built from modest beginnings – literally in someone's garage.

We are introducing “Le Garage” at Bell Labs Villarceaux as a place for innovation powered by Bell Labs but open and accessible to all staff. We seek to connect and catalyze innovative projects which do not fit the mainstream product lines. We offer the space for people to work on “Different” projects – either alone or in groups – and to share their results, both good and bad, for greater insight into "Why". 

Many of the big technology innovators such as Google and Microsoft (who began as startups) have created small spaces (Garages) within themselves to foster innovation and recapture the startup spirit dear to their culture. Three Bell Labs engineers decided to do it themselves. (We can do that!). They rolled their sleeves up to rehabilitate an old storage space, and salvage a few tables and chairs, an abandoned lab bench, some soldering irons, vices and other tools—and so the garage was up and running in a few days and the first workshop to produce a 3D printer followed quickly with ten or so “makers” ready to embark on the adventure.

Le Garage is a place to MAKE

An idea has little value until it is realized. Using tools such as 3D printers, Arduino kits and software modeling programs, Smartphone application simulators, etc., Le Garage brings ideas closer to realization with fewer obstacles. Similarly, Le Garage helps our staff learn more easily about emerging technologies.

Le Garage was conceived with Agility in mind physically—all the tables and chairs are on casters, providing flexibility to adapt to different requirements and activities—and in its process, based on the Lean Startup.  Le Garage emphasizes short experimentation & validation cycles, trial-and-error methods, and rapid incremental prototyping.

Le Garage fosters the “startup” spirit and enables "entrepreneurship” programs at Nokia Bell Labs.

Bertrand Marquet & Pierre Turkiewicz