Dell establishes new programme aimed at entrepreneurs
Tech company also sets up €10m fund to give small businesses access to funding for technology
Dell is offering startups in Ireland a new source of support with the establishment of a new initiative designed to help entrepreneurs.
The Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs, which is based on a programme that began in the US before opening in the UK, aims to provide startups with access to funding, mentoring and Dell’s technical expertise.
The programme offers both online and offline resources to entrepreneurs, with a new competition that will give three Irish start-ups free office space, business supports and mentoring for a year at one of its campuses in Dublin, Limerick or Cork. Companies will also be able to work with Dell’s solutions centre in Limerick. The competition will be launched later this year via the company’s website.
In tandem with the opening of the centre, the company established a €10 million fund aimed at small businesses. Managed by Dell Financial Services, the fund will give these companies access to finance for technology purchases.
Founder of the Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs Ingrid Venderveldt said Dell would also be bringing the Founders Club to Dell in Ireland, a hand-picked network of business leaders using technology in innovative ways to grow their business .
“When I set out to build out the Centre for Entrepreneurs and the Founders Club, I wanted to build out what I would have wanted when I was building my companies. When you’re in the Founders Club, it gives you this regular hands-on interaction with Dell; we open up our rolodex, we make introductions, we become an innovative partner with your company,” she said.
The resources of the centre are open to all entrepreneurs, Ms Vanderweldt said.
“What we look for in the Founders Club, we’re not targeting one specific segment, we’re targeting the mindset and the personality of a founder and CEO who fundamentally believes that technology can be a key enabler, escalator to their success, regardless of their industry segment.”
Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton said it was a great commitment by the multinational to Ireland’s start-up community.
“ As I have said before, we have amazing entrepreneurs in Ireland - we just don’t have enough of them. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-up businesses - that is why we have put in place a range of measures to create the environment where more entrepreneurs will take the risk.”
“This programme provides practical support, guidance and access to finance which is to be welcomed - but also provides our start-ups with access to some of the best technical minds in the world. This initiative could be a real difference to a company being a success or a failure.”
Dell’s Aongus Hegarty said: “Michael Dell founded the company almost 30 years ago and ever since, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit have been the hallmarks of our business and company culture.
“We believe that technology is a necessary part of growing a thriving business and strive to help entrepreneurs leverage technology to take ideas from start-up to success.”