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Lexus Turns The Ignition

Brands are linking up with entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit. That's true in a big way in the auto business. Several brands have launched de facto venture capital arms to get new ideas. Lexus is the latest, having established a contest called Lexus Ignition in which a Facebook app is soliciting votes on eight technology startups, whose four winners will split up to $100,000 in funding from Lexus US. The startups range from a maker of audio speakers out of "eco wood" to the designer of "the world's first pocket-sized video-stabilization case for a smartphone that eliminates shaky video," per the automaker.

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