Corporate VC

Source: Forbes, Feb 2011

STRATEGY & RETURN

The fundamental problem for corporate venture capitalists is that they must serve the dual masters of strategy and return. And pursuing a technology or market that may be interesting or important for a large corporation often precludes financial success.

Consider BMW’s recently launched $100 million venture capital fund. It is focused on location-based information technologies and intelligent navigation, two fields that have seen a ton of innovation from startups over the past half-decade. The corporation’s first investment went into New York-based My City Way, a startup that makes a mobile phone application that offers information on public transportation, parking availability and even local entertainment. That’s a far cry from sparkplugs, drive shafts and transmissions.

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