Is Partner'd From 'Grace And Frankie' A Real Company? The Business Incubator Model Is Legit
On March 24, Season 3 of Netflix's Grace and Frankie hit the streaming site and picked up right were Season 2 left off, with Grace and Frankie starting the vibrator business they announced last season. SPOILERS ahead. The show is just as sex positive, feminist, and age positive as ever, as the series depicts the obstacles Grace and Frankie face when trying to get this new business off the ground. The pair even resort to looking for a loan at a tech incubator called Partner'd. So, is Partner'd a real company?
In the first few episodes, Grace and Frankie are having trouble getting a loan because they are older and banks are concerned about giving a 10-year loan to aging women. And, then the duo realizes that their target demographic is shy to discuss the product in a group setting, though that doesn't mean the market is not interested. The women are learning what works and what doesn't with their product, but, most importantly, they need funding. So, Grace and Frankie head to a hip incubator for a loan.
The office has laser tag while you wait, a DJ at reception, and a cursing, possibly stoned boss, who still knows his stuff. He is a fan of Grace and Frankie's well-delivered pitch, but he stops the pair and explains that his company doesn't actually make anything — they break things. He calls his employees "disruptors," explaining they take things like cabs and make Uber. There aren't tangible products, like vibrators, being manufactured.
And, though Partner'd is not a real company, business incubators are real. And, to Frankie's chagrin, they don't have anything to do with chickens. A business incubator helps startups by providing office space and sometimes training. And, some of the crazy features seen on the show aren't that far-fetched. According to Business Insider, Google's Zurich office has a slide, Fireman's pole, a massage room, and play rooms, in addition to ultra-modern office furniture shaped like hives and balls and spaces made from old subway cars. But all of the Google offices are cool. According to Network World, there's a bowling alley and tons of other hip features in the Mountain View office. Other tech companies like Facebook and Twitter have followed suit with fun, modern, open-floor plan wonderlands as office spaces.
While Partner'd isn't a real company, the tech world is pretty eccentric. And, though business is changing, there are some products that need to be touchable — like vibrators. We are living in a time where some consumers still don't want the technological bells and whistles and associated apps (y'all even pregnancy tests have apps now). That's Grace and Frankie's market. So, in the end, the incubator wasn't right for them — but it's pretty cool to know that those types of spaces do exist.