Dell launches £10m fund for tech start-ups as part of new UK Centre for Entrepreneurs

Computing giant’s Entrepreneur in Residence Ingrid Vanderveldt announces opportunity for two businesses to become ‘Start-Ups in Residence’

Global computing firm Dell today announced the launch of a new £10m fund to support high-growth tech firms, as part of the launch of a new UK Centre for Entrepreneurs.

The Centre, which will provide funding, mentoring and technical expertise to UK tech start-ups, follows the success of a similar programme run by Dell in the US.

Designed to provide private sector support to the UK start-up community the Centre will be overseen by American serial entrepreneur Ingrid Vanderveldt (above, left) as Dell’s ‘global entrepreneur in residence’.

The £10m Dell Innovators Credit Fund will back early-stage companies investing in new technology, with the aim of getting innovative products to market as soon as possible and boosting business growth and job creation.

This follows the news earlier in the year that Dell had secured a full commercial bank licence from the Central Bank of Ireland, where it has created an additional 300 jobs.

To apply for funding, businesses must fill out a form on the Centre for Entrepreneurs microsite detailing their current funding mix and growth plans.

Acting as a steering committee for the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a new Advisory Council will also be created, facilitating meetings between Dell sector experts and business owners to foster dialogue with the UK entrepreneurial community.

Tim Griffin, vice president and managing director at Dell UK, said: “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. Our new Dell UK Centre for Entrepreneurs allows us to do just that.”

Alongside the Centre for Entrepreneurs launch, Dell has also announced an upcoming competition for two UK companies to become ‘start-ups in residence’, gaining a package of support including free office space at the firm’s Bracknell campus, a package of free servers and IT equipment, and support and mentoring.

Launching on the December 2, applicants will have until February 14, 2014, to submit a business plan and video explaining the importance of technology to their business plan and success.

The two winning start-ups will also become part of the newly-created Advisory Council and will become part of the Dell Founder’s Club, which executive director and UK and Ireland general manager of Dell Sarah Shields (above, right) described as “taking mentorship to a new level”.

At the central London launch for Vanderveldt told the invite-only audience that the company founder Michael Dell proclaimed as the ‘World’s largest startup’ following the company’s $24.9bn re-privatisation deal, has challenged itself to “create a better connection with the entrepreneurial community”.

Vanderveldt said that by providing solutions to the biggest challenges faced by small businesses, namely accessing finance, technology, peer-group support, and knowledge, Dell would offer a “go-to resource to help entrepreneurs do things efficiently”.

“Michael Dell shares in the passion to support entrepreneurs. it’s still an entrepreneurial company led by the man who started out of the trunk of his own car.”


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