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Answering the Call

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

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

European wireless heavyweight Orange S.A., one of France'slargest companies, didn't even begin venture activities untillate 2000, after the Internet bubble had burst. And Orangeisn'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 foodgiant, kicked off its VC unit in March 2002.

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