Fueling Startup Growth

Date posted: June 7, 2012

By Rieva Lesonsky

Dell Computers is establishing a “first-of-its-kind” credit fund to help small businesses grow. A major part of the $100 million initiative, the Dell Innovators Credit Fund, is aimed at helping businesses that have received a recent (within 90 days) injection of angel or venture capital. These companies will be able to access up to 10 percent of their funded amount (or $150,000) in credit, with what Dell calls “accelerated, limited credit terms,” to get the tech solutions they need.

Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell’s first entrepreneur-in-residence, created the fund which has already paid off in its test/pilot phase for entrepreneur Lauren Flanagan. Vanderveldt, who is a serial entrepreneur herself, told me that many “entrepreneurs, even when funded, still can’t get the credit they need.”  Steve Felice, the president and chief commercial officer at Dell, says the new fund offers entrepreneurs “access to technology to help fuel global growth and innovation while helping startups preserve precious equity capital for other business needs.”

There are additional benefits for the participating entrepreneurs including access to a “dedicated Dell sales team and support services.”

It’s not only about funded businesses either. For smaller, self-funded businesses Dell is expanding its Entrepreneur-in-Residence community which will be adding new features over the next few months, including instructional videos, e-learning, and expert advice.

Disclosure: My company, GrowBiz Media produces a newsletter for the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, and I will be attending the DWEN meeting in India later this month.

Applications for the fund open today: www.dell.com/eir/funded.

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