Real-life Examples of Social Innovation through Corporate Venture Capital

Check out these examples of how companies are using corporate venture capital funding — along with other innovative funding techniques — to spur social and environmental impact while also driving business results.

1. Johnson & Johnson

Healthcare is an obvious place where corporate venture capital and impact investing intersect. Johnson & Johnson has a long history of corporate venture capital investing. Its corporate venture capital unit, rebranded Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC in 2013, has been investing consistently for four decades. Today’s focus areas include medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and consumer products.

2. Kellogg’s

In June, the Kellogg’s Company established a new venture capital fund called eighteen94 capital (1894) “to make minority investments in companies pursuing next-generation innovation, bolstering access to cutting-edge ideas and trends. The investment mandate includes start-up businesses pioneering new ingredients, foods, packaging, and enabling technology.” We think there’s lots of social impact potential in these innovative food investments.

3. Campbell Soup

Earlier this year, Campbell Soup launch a $125 million venture capital fund called Acre Venture Partners. It was motivated to do so by their customers’ desire for freshness, transparency and sustainability. The fund has already invested in Back to the Roots, an Oakland, California startup pioneering how families reconnect with food.

4. Ford Motor Company

Ford recently announced its plan to have a ride-sharing service featuring high-volume, fully autonomous cars in commercial operation by 2021. To help reach this goal, Ford made investments in four startups that are developing cutting edge technology in the areas of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors, artificial intelligence and computer vision, machine vision, and high-resolution 3D-mapping.