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Fortune reports that 7-Eleven "is dipping its toe into the venture capital business, with plans to invest small amounts of money into startups within the retail and food spaces," via a new business development entity called 7-Ventures.

The story says that 7-Ventures "so far has made two investments.

"The first was in an undisclosed coffee company, as part of 7-Eleven's efforts to improve its fresh food and beverage business.

"The second is in Belly, a Chicago-based customer loyalty and marketing platform."
KC's View:
In a lot of ways, I wonder if this is a model for how big companies are going to function in the future. Finding innovative ideas can be difficult at best, especially internally at companies where process can be more important than progress, and spreading money around like fertilizer may be the best way to gain expertise and an inside track on game-changing ideas and technologies.