In conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Dell today announced plans for global expansion of the Center for Entrepreneurs, starting with the launch of the U.K. Centre for Entrepreneurs, and the appointment of its Entrepreneur-in-Residence Global Advisory Board to lend strategic direction around the global rollout of its entrepreneurial initiatives.
Through the Center for Entrepreneurs, Dell is opening up its resources to start-ups in unprecedented ways to help fuel innovation and global growth, including giving select founders direct access to business feedback from Michael Dell via the Tech Innovation Day: Pitch Slam taking place during Dell World 2013. Dell is kicking off an online contest today to locate the final technology startup to participate in the event.
“For Dell, supporting entrepreneurs isn’t just a business strategy, but a corporate philosophy. Since launching in the United States a year ago, the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs has been a true testament to the collaborative win-win of startups and corporations partnering for growth,” said Ingrid Vanderveldt, entrepreneur-in-residence at Dell. “Today, we’re excited to be taking big steps forward in expanding this footprint globally.”
Global Expansion of the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs
Dell Center for Entrepreneurs initiatives include the Dell Innovators Credit Fund, a $115M debt capital financing program through Dell Financial Services for U.S. and U.K.-based venture and angel-backed startups that provides financial and technology resources to bolster speed-to-market and create jobs. Another is the Dell Founders Club, targeted to entrepreneurs leading recently funded companies who view technology as a critical “backbone” to business success, and have immediate technology needs to scale quickly. Since the launch in June 2012, the Founders Club has grown from 25 initial members to more than 150 members ; creating a diverse, robust and highly beneficial network for CEOs and Founders of fast-growth startups.
These initiatives have helped Dell develop mutually beneficial relationships with fast-growth entrepreneurs during their crucial early stages. Neverware, a New York startup improving schools’ access to working computers through software it developed that helps old computers run like new, is a member of the Dell Founders Club and one of the startups participating in the upcoming "pitch slam" at Dell World.
“The support we've received from Dell as a member of the Founders Club has been critical to the growth of Neverware,” said Jonathan Hefter, CEO of Neverware. “Scaling-up a startup is never simple, but with Dell as a partner, we've had many powerful resources that have been of tremendous value in the process. We're excited to share with Michael Dell and the other pitch slam judges at Dell World what we’ve been able to accomplish as a Founders Club member.”
With the success and impact these programs have created in the United States, Dell is expanding the Center for Entrepreneurs globally starting with the U.K. Centre live now, followed by Ireland later this year, and additional markets to be announced throughout 2014.
Entrepreneur-in-Residence Global Advisory Board
Dell today is also announcing the appointment of its Entrepreneur-in-Residence Global Advisory Board, which will work alongside the Dell Founding Entrepreneur-in-Residence Advisory Board to serve as a collective voice for entrepreneurs worldwide and lend strategic insight to Dell’s entrepreneurial initiatives.
The global board is comprised of a curated group of influential entrepreneurs and experts from around the world including Ashish J. Thakkar, founder of pan-African multi-sector investment group Mara Group and winner of 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award at the World Entrepreneurship Forum; Ido Leffler, co-founder of Yes To Inc., the No. 2 natural beauty brand in the U.S; Marcelo Sales, founding partner of 21212, a digital business accelerator headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and New York City; Catherine Graham, president and co-owner of RIGHTSLEEVE, and co-founder and CEO of commonsku, and Elizabeth Gore, resident entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation.