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In a country within which there is so much bad news – economic growth that is too low, unemployment that is too high, government debt that is way too high (and ballooning at $3 billion each day), and a government that is more often stalemated than effective – news about exceptional private sector innovation and the creation of promising new (job creating) businesses accomplishes legions more than presidential speeches or Congressional sound bites.
The national characteristics that made the United States great included the very strengths currently demonstrated by creative and risk taking venture capital firms. The best among these firms engage in the challenging task of gathering large amounts of funds and matching those assets with entrepreneurs who have developed the most promising business ideas. A great example of the type of venture firm that serves as an “economic engine” for the economy is an intriguing firm created by Castrol Lubricants (a BP subsidiary) – a name well-known within the automotive space!
Recognizing that their future, and the world’s, will depend upon the fostering of innovative thinking, Castrol recently created a future-focused, risk taking company called Castrol innoVentures. To paraphrase its goal as expressed on its website, this is Castrol’s way of moving from inside the car engine to engage with and empower the world at large.
To achieve that goal, Castrol innoVentures is on the hunt for partners who are creating new, compelling concepts in any of four major areas: Intelligent Operations, Next Gen Engineering, Responsible Oil Technology, and Smart Mobility. In addition, Castrol innoVentures is dead serious about its vision to reach beyond national boundaries ... to encompass the world. It is looking for big ideas… big enough to demonstrate global potential and address the needs of businesses and consumers within a marketplace that seems to be in a perpetual state of change. Because of that, concepts and plans that will be appealing enough for invested capital must be both innovative and flexible – in order to generate excitement within the targeted customer base and be able to change and adapt as market expectations evolve.
In that effort, Castrol innoVentures has already sponsored two major competitions for “start-up business concepts” during 2012: one competition hosted in Singapore and a separate competition held in London. Currently, Dr. Jonathan Tudor, a lead director within Castrol innoVentures, will be one of the speakers at next week’s 15th Annual Corporate Venturing and Innovation Partnering conference, beginning on Monday, February 11 in Newport Beach, CA.
We are told that, in connection with Dr. Tudor’s appearance, Castrol innoVentures will be making a major announcement, in concert with another venture capital partner, regarding a large investment that will address a growing need within the global market. I’ll be sharing word of that announcement after it breaks on Monday.