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Answering the Call

Trust corporations to know when the VC game is ready for new players.

This story appears in the July 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Corporate venture capital has been on its way out for a while, but it isn't quite gone. And now it's hinting at a comeback--with some big names behind it.

European wireless heavyweight Orange S.A., one of France's largest companies, didn't even begin venture activities until late 2000, after the Internet bubble had burst. And Orange isn't alone. Applied Materials Inc., a Santa Clara, California, multinational maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, started a new venture fund last fall. Nestle S.A., the Swiss food giant, kicked off its VC unit in March 2002.

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