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NOKIA STEPS UP CORPORATE VENTURING

Nokia has launched a new venture capital fund dedicated to financing ideas generated within the company. The mobile communications company has allocated e40 million to its Early Stage Technology Fund. The fund will be based in Helsinki, Finland but will invest globally, wherever the company has operations.

The fund will invest seed capital of between e1 million to e3 million. It aims to capitalise on opportunities at an early stage and deliver both financial and strategic results to Nokia. Internal Nokia entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of the company’s industry experience and understanding of the mobile markets and technology. Petteri Terho is the managing partner of the Nokia Early Stage Technology Fund. He said: “We are looking at strategic opportunities closely linked to Nokia’s core vision, but have an uncertain immediate value. The fund can help maintain a corporate option while giving entrepreneurs the space to develop their idea.”

The fund will form part of the Nokia Ventures Organisation, which develops new business opportunities outside of the current development path of Nokia’s core businesses. Other initiatives in this organisation are designed to consolidate new business ideas, develop them into sustainable businesses and collaborate with external entrepreneurs. Nokia Ventures Organisation also oversees Nokia Venture Partners, a $650 million global VC fund investing in mobile and IP start-ups. It was formed in 1998 and its investors include BMC Software, CDBWebTech and Goldman Sachs.

Johan Schmidt, vice president and head of New Growth Businesses, Nokia Ventures Organisation, said: “We can provide our entrepreneurs with the resources they need to build a business while keeping Nokia’s options open for the future. This type of venturing within the corporation helps ensure a continuous renewal for Nokia which promotes our future growth and development.”