Oct 9, 2018

Kraft Heinz launches $100mn venture capital fund to invest in food technology

technology
supply chain
Kraft Foods Group
investments
Laura Mullan
2 min
The fund will particularly look for startups which are focused on supply chains, logistics, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer projects.
Kraft Heinz has launched a new $100mn venture capital fund called Evolv Ventures, which will invest in emerging technology companies...

Kraft Heinz has launched a new $100mn venture capital fund called Evolv Ventures, which will invest in emerging technology companies which are shaking up the food industry.

“Through Evolv Ventures, we will work with tomorrow’s most innovative founders and companies in the space, and use the full resources of Kraft Heinz to help them succeed,” said Bernardo Hees, Chief Executive Officer at Kraft Heinz.

The Chicago-based venture capital fund will be led by Bill Pescatello, who was a founding member of Peacock equity fund, an investment group created by GE Capital and NBCUniversal.

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“At Evolv Ventures, we will move beyond brands to have a committed first look at our industry’s most promising and disruptive tech-enabled companies,” Pescatello said.  

“With the insights, data and access available at Kraft Heinz, we look to take full advantage of our unique position and be the foremost value-added investor in the space.”

Pescatelllo told Bloomberg that the fund would particularly target startups which are focused on supply chains, logistics, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer projects.

This is Kraft Heinz’s first venture capital fund, but, earlier this year, the American food company launched an incubator called Springboard that aims to develop scale and grow disruptive startups in the food and beverage sector.

Kraft Heinz is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with brands including Philadelphia, Heinz and Oscar Mayer.

The firm says that its new venture fund will help to expose the business to emerging technologies and will help to cement its position in the industry.

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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