Dell to reveal €10m technology fund for Irish start-ups

24 Jan 2014

At the launch of its new Centre for Entrepreneurs in Ireland, computer giant Dell will later this morning reveal a new €10m fund to support the development of technology solutions by Irish companies.

The funding will be managed by the Irish-headquartered Dell Financial Services. Through the programme, Dell is aiming to meet the needs of established start-up businesses with a technology focus by giving them access to the resources, expertise and solutions they need to get to market more quickly.

The Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs in Ireland, which launches this morning at the Digital Hub in Dublin, will offer support for Irish start-ups to grow and scale quickly using Dell’s technical expertise and infrastructure. In November last year, the launch of the UK centre opened up stg£10m in funding to UK start-ups to acquire growth-critical technologies.

“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,” Aongus Hegarty, president, Dell, EMEA.

“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 Centre for Entrepreneurs allows us to do just that.

“We’re looking to attract start-up businesses with a technology focus. Through the programme we’ll hopefully be able to help them fast track their route to the marketplace. Ireland has large numbers of entrepreneurs. We hope that through our investment in this programme we can act as a catalyst to growth for these companies and help them to scale and go global at a pace that wouldn’t otherwise be possible,” Hegarty said.

Start-ups: it’s a community thing

In 2011, Dell announced the launch of its Entrepreneur-in-Residence programme in the US, hiring Ingrid Vanderveldt, an influential entrepreneur, to identify how Dell could better serve the needs of start-ups. Vanderveldt now oversees global entrepreneurship initiatives for Dell and was pivotal in creating the Centre for Entrepreneurs in both the US and the UK, and now in Ireland.

Vanderveldt said: “Dell isn’t your typical global technology company. It has supported entrepreneurs and business owners for years, sharing its technology, capital, expertise and networks. Whether it’s helping a business get to market, or rolling out a new service, Dell understands the value of having a real and comprehensive relationship with entrepreneurs. It’s good for business — and necessary for innovation.

“With over hundreds of companies founded last year, a lively tech start-up scene and a host of government-backed and private-sector funding schemes, Ireland has a thriving entrepreneurial community.

“I am really looking forward to getting to know this community better and to delivering solutions and supports that are needed by this community to help support growth, job creation and international success.

“Over the next few months, we also look forward to selecting three companies that will get the opportunity to locate on the Dell campus – one in Cork, one in Limerick and one in Dublin. We look forward to really getting under the skin of these companies, giving them the benefit of our technology and marketing expertise to help ensure their success,” Vanderveldt added.

Two-thirds of Irish jobs will be created by start-up businesses

The €10m fund and Centre for Entrepreneurs was welcomed by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.

“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. I commend Dell on this initiative and wish all involved every success,” Bruton added.

Global business image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years