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General Motors Turns Key On New Venture Capital Firm

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 6/8/2010

Automotive startup companies could soon get funding from General Motors' new $100 million venture capital firm.

General Motors is creating a $100-million venture capital firm to help provide funding for startups in the automotive industry - which is good news for entrepreneurs.

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General Motors Ventures will focus its investments in areas such as materials technology, information and entertainment systems and renewable fuels. Companies selected for funding will also be given access to GM testing facilities and insight into the company's manufacturing requirements.

A company spokesperson told the New York Times that GM already had several companies on its radar, and that announcements about new investments would be coming shortly.

"Our goal is to nurture these innovative technologies to help bring them to market, and to ensure our customers have access to the best technology available," Stephen J. Girsky, GM vice chairman of corporate strategy and new business development, said in a statement.

In 2008, GM made significant investments in two companies working to develop ethanol-based fuels - Coskata and Mascoma. So far, neither has yielded significant results.

The emphasis on renewable fuels and clean energy reflects a growing trend in venture capital nationwide. The most recent MoneyTree report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association found that clean technology was one of the hottest areas of venture capital investment - showing an 87 percent increase in funding compared with the previous quarter.

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