Technology giants such as Intel, Google and Cisco have found value in bankrolling small startup companies that help meet their corporate missions. Now, the athletic apparel and sneaker giant Nike is jumping into the mix with a new fund called the Sustainable Business & Innovation Lab.
Like the name suggests, the lab will focus on businesses that develop alternative energies and more efficient approaches to manufacturing, according to Bloomberg. Nike writes on its Web site:
Nike sees Sustainable Business and Innovation as an integral part of how we can use the power of our brand, the energy and passion of our people, and the scale of our business to create meaningful change.
The opportunity is greater than ever for sustainability principles and practices to deliver business returns and become a driver of growth, to build deeper consumer and community connections and to create positive social and environmental impact in the world.
In other words, Nike is looking to do well by doing good. Will that work in the VC business?
Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike has not said how much money it plans to pump into the new fund, and it has yet to make any new investments.