Tag: Ingrid Vanderveldt

Elizabeth Gore to Join Dell as its Entrepreneur in Residence

Ingrid Vanderveldt (left) with Elizabeth Gore at the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network conference in Austin in June.  Gore is the new Entrepreneur in Residence at Dell.

Ingrid Vanderveldt (left) with Elizabeth Gore at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network conference in Austin in June. Gore is the new Entrepreneur in Residence at Dell.

Dell has named Elizabeth Gore with the United Nations Foundation, its next Entrepreneur in Residence.

Dell made the announcement at TechCrunch Disrupt Monday.

Gore, who currently serves as entrepreneur in residence for the United Nations Foundation, will join the company in February of 2015.

Gore will be Dell’s second entrepreneur in residence. Ingrid Vanderveldt held the job until June when she stepped down. Both Gore and Vanderveldt attended the global Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network conference in June in Austin.

At Dell, Gore will provide support for small and medium sized business and help them grow. She will also encourage policies and practices to support entrepreneurship globally.

“It has been an honor to support the causes of the United Nations through working with entrepreneurs to scale innovations that improve lives,” Gore said in a news release. “Technology is the most consistent and reliable force that continues to enable and improve human potential through innovation. Dell’s global footprint and influence will give entrepreneurs the platform to take their solutions to the next level.”

Gore will also remain actively involved with the UN Foundation as a senior fellow and as chair for its Global Entrepreneurs Council.

Michael Dell is also involved with the UN Foundation. This summer, he was appointed as the UN Foundation’s first ever Global Advocate for Entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurs have the power to transform our global economy, but they face challenges around access to markets, capital and technology. There is no silver bullet, and a multi-faceted approach to ensure their successes is necessary,” Karen Quintos, Dell senior vice president and chief marketing officer said in a news statement. “Elizabeth’s impressive background, deep expertise working with both public and private sector, make her an ideal fit as Dell’s next EIR. We are thrilled to have her on board, creating positive change for entrepreneurs, and helping to remove the barriers to risk-taking that exist in many cultures.”

Ingrid Vanderveldt Ends Reign as Dell’s First Entrepreneur in Residence

Ingrid Vanderveldt, EIR with Dell and Elizabeth Gore,  Resident Entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation at DWEN in Austin last week. Photos by Laura Lorek

Ingrid Vanderveldt, EIR with Dell and Elizabeth Gore, Resident Entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation at DWEN in Austin last week. Photos by Laura Lorek

Ingrid Vanderveldt’s last day as Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence was Saturday.

“It was a dream come true,” Vanderveldt said. “We more than accomplished what we set out to do to. I’m just so proud of the team and of Dell. Dell has a visionary commitment to women worldwide. It’s just been an honor to be part of it.”

Vanderveldt joins Dell’s EIR advisory board. Dell plans to announce its new EIR in September, Vanderveldt said.

Last week Vanderveldt participated in the first Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network to be held in Austin at the W Hotel and Austin City Limits. It was the fifth global event. Dell has held past events in Turkey, India, China and Brazil. About 200 female entrepreneurs, investors attended the invitation-only event. It’s a three day gathering of women who run companies with more than three million in annual revenue. At that event, Vanderveldt is known for her fabulous after-hours networking parties which feature scotch, music, dancing and hanging out with some of the world’s most powerful women.

IMG_3214Vanderveldt first connected with Dell at the first Dell Womens for Entrepreneurs Network program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in September of 2011, she joined the company as its first EIR. At Dell, she helped to create the company’s Center for Entrepreneurship website, which provides access to technology, expertise and capital through programs like the Dell Innovators Credit Fund, Dell Financial Services and Dell Ventures.

Vanderveldt plans to invest in telecommunications and finance companies through her company, Ingrid Vanderveldt LLC and her initiative “Empowering a Billion Women by 2020.” She is also a member of the 2013 United Nation’s Global Entrepreneurship Council.

Dell’s Ingrid Vanderveldt on Six Trends Shaping Entrepreneurs in 2014

Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence
Special Contribution to Silicon Hills News

Ingrid-Vanderveldt-2013B-copy-200x147We’re seeing more entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. than ever before – a result of factors including low cost of entry for startups, increased availability of funding for early-stage startups, and valuations for successful startups hitting an all-time high. With the New Year upon us, it’s the time we all start thinking about how this year will be different than last and what trends will have the largest impact on the entrepreneurial community in 2014. Some of my top predictions are as follows:

1. Social media space continues to grow ever-crowded. While not a new trend, social media has fully matured as a channel, with 73 percent of adults in the U.S. using at least one platform and 42 percent using multiple social networking sites. Every company needs a comprehensive, customer-driven marketing and communications strategy, and in 2014, that means knowing where your customers are and finding ways to have meaningful and personalized interactions. Over the last year, Pinterest became wildly popular among women and surpassed Twitter in total users, while new applications such as Snapchat stole attention from Facebook among the teen market.
Although the decline in Facebook usage among teens may be over-hyped, the truth is that all users, teens and adults alike, are using multiple platforms to suit their needs – LinkedIn for professional networking, Pinterest for social bookmarking, Instagram for photo-sharing, etc. With so many platforms, it’s important to have a strategy that doesn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Pay attention to demographics and make sure you are where your customers are. Entrepreneurs should also look to leverage their own personal and professional social networking activities to build their brand while integrating social across their enterprise. Also, consider taking a page out of Dell’s book by leveraging the passion, talent and networks of your employees by starting an employee advocacy program.

2. Marrying profits with purpose. Launching and maintaining a successful business is no longer just about the bottom line. We’re seeing more and more companies building sustainability and a vision beyond profits into their cultures from day one, and attracting customers and top talent in the process. Tesla may be a car company but its vision is to “expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.” Warby Parker may sell fashionable eyewear, but the B Corp aspires to “do good in the world” for its “employees, customers, community and the environment.”
I joined Dell because I believe in its vision of technology powering human potential. Supporting entrepreneurs and empowering women in business are key tenets to who Dell is as a company. Just one example of this is the Pay it Forward initiative Dell launched last year, setting a goal to track support for one million women entrepreneurs by the end of 2015.

3. It’s no longer a question of Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley. While the Valley is still seen as the epicenter of the startup universe by many, opportunity is becoming more geographically dispersed than ever before. Cities including Austin, Tennessee, Denver, New Orleans, and Detroit are all cultivating their own startup ecosystems and the number of startups founded outside of traditional entrepreneurship hubs is growing significantly. This trend is being supported by large national initiatives such as Google’s Tech Hubs and the White House’s Startup America Partnership, along with local efforts by cities across the U.S.
For entrepreneurs, the hunt for financing and top talent may make the Bay Area appear attractive but think twice before jumping on flight and heading straight to Sand Hill Road. Not only are there benefits to being a big fish in a small pond, but the competitive advantage of regional economies should also be a factor in your decision-making process. Silicon Valley may still be the right place for you if you’re in enterprise technology, as might New York City if you’re launching a media-focused startup, but know your industry and do your research as new hotbeds of innovation are emerging worldwide, and it may be easier to break through the clutter and get noticed in a less saturated market.

4. Alternative forms of payment and digital currency move into the mainstream. PayPal launched in 1999 as the first mainstream online money transfer service, creating new opportunities for merchants and entrepreneurs on the web. 10 years later, Square’s card reader made it exceptionally easy for just about anyone to accept physical credit cards at their point of sale. In 2013, a formerly obscure cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, took to the mainstream evolving into a multi-billion dollar ecosystem recognized by hedge funds and Congress. With Bitcoin BitPay processing over $100,000,000 in transactions, Bitcoins were used to purchase spots on Virgin Galactic flights to space, Lamborghinis, and OKCupid credits.
These alternate forms of payment are offering businesses a compelling way to expand their customer base, reduce per transaction costs and improve user experience. With the pace of innovation in financial transactions increasing and the desire for frictionless transactions on the rise, startups, especially those involved in e-commerce, will need to familiarize themselves with alternative currencies and payment methods. While accepting mobile payments or embracing digital currency may not be the right fit for your business, 2014 might be the right time to figure out your policy and ensure you’re taking the appropriate security measures if you do decide to try out new technology.

5. It’s time to think twice before you IPO. The nimbleness and passion that got your startup where it is today can be difficult to sustain under the watchful eyes of shareholders. Going public has been shown to zap innovation and foster short-term thinking by measuring success in quarterly earnings rather than taking the long-view.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from Michael Dell’s battle to bring Dell private in 2013, it’s that stockholders require an intense focus on short-term gains, which can sometimes be counterproductive to the long-term viability of a company. Entrepreneurs thinking about going public should take note. Will fewer companies go public in 2014 than in previous years? Probably not, but they should definitely weigh the pros and cons more carefully.

6. Women are rising to the top. Not a new trend, but, in 2014, I believe the rate at which women are taking leadership positions and “owning their potential” is going to grow at rates we can’t even fathom. For example, just yesterday it was announced that the first female law firm just opened in Saudi Arabia – something that would’ve been unheard of just 12 months ago!
With public/private partnerships such as Dell’s work with the UN Foundation, we are now in a position to create change for women on a global scale and this year we’ll continue to see increased collaboration between governments, international organizations, the private sector, and individual stakeholders to positively impact female entrepreneurship worldwide.

Ingrid Vanderveldt is an entrepreneur, investor and media personality connecting entrepreneurs to corporations. Ingrid is leveraging her business, policy and media initiatives to “Empower a Billion Women by 2020” to help provide women with tools, technology & resources. As Dell’s first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), Ingrid serves as the bridge from the “outside, in” connecting the entrepreneur community to the expansive resources the Fortune 50 company. Ingrid created and oversees the $100M Dell Innovators Credit Fund and The Dell Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2012, Ingrid helped architect The Federal EIR Bill with Senator Mary Landreau (LA) and Representative Mike Honda (CA), and is currently working on legislation with State Senators to bring out a State-wide EIR bill in 2013. She is also the co-founder of The Billionaire Girls Club, is a Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Member and serves on the UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council.

Startups Pitch at Dell Tech Innovators Day

imgres-7A lucky 13 startups got a “golden ticket” on Thursday to pitch their businesses to the president of Dell and other top Dell executives.
“I’m super excited about being here and having this opportunity,” said Tonia Thompson, co-founder of Springcreek Systems, which makes software that eliminates duplications in customer relationship management systems.
Thompson worked for Dell until last summer when she left to start her own company. She participated in its first Tech Innovators Day headed up by Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell’s entrepreneur in residence. Vanderveldt also heads up the Dell Center for Entrepreneurship, launched last December. The Tech Innovators Day brought a variety of startups to Dell’s headquarters in Round Rock to help them make connections, she said.
“First of all, as an entrepreneur, when you’re building a company everyone dreams of how do they do business with a Dell. How do they get in the door?” Vanderveldt said. “We’ve completely opened up the doors.”
zewzvDell’s President Steve Felice wanted to talk to the people building companies with the next big ideas, Vanderveldt said. He attended the afternoon pitch session. He never left the room or took a phone call despite all the news happening with Dell right now with rumors of a potential leveraged buyout underway. He gave the startups his full attention.
“As we become more of a solutions company we’re going to add more companies,” Felice said. Dell is also seeking to promote a culture of innovation and creativity, he said. Felice spoke briefly to the group before the entrepreneurs each gave five-minute pitches to him and other high-level executives at Dell followed by a question and answer session.
Dell has made more than $10 billion worth of acquisitions in the last four years to re-make the company beyond its origins as a PC maker and to build a broader portfolio of products and services. But Dell has startups at its heart. The often-repeated story about how Michael Dell founded the computer company in 1984 in his dorm room at the University of Texas and then built it into a Fortune 500 Company is legendary in Austin.
The startups, from Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Chicago, hope to do that some day too. Many were recommended by tech accelerators and co-working spaces including 1871, Capital Factory, ATI and Tech Ranch or Dell’s Small Business Think Tank events.
“They come from a variety of different industries but they’re all focused on how can they use technology as a path to success,” Vanderveldt said.
The startups asked Dell executives for contracts, mentorship, advice, investments and more.
Stacy Yamaoka, co-founder of Austin-based Deohako, which makes tablet mounting systems, recently returned from presenting her products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. She also previously participated in a Dell Think Tank event aimed at small businesses in Austin.
Yamaoka asked for a $250,000 contract from Dell to supply Deohako’s mounting system for Dell’s tablet computers.
Timothy Porter, founder of Appddiction Studio in San Antonio, makes an app to prevent bullying in schools. He asked for a $350,000 investment to hire more sales staff and take the app, which is in 65 schools, nationwide.
Susan Strausberg, co-founder of 9WSearch, a financial search engine, is also seeking investment and strategic partners. Strausberg formerly founded Edgar Online. She moved to Austin and launched 9WSearch to create an intelligent search engine for financial data.
Erine Gray, co-founder of Aunt Bertha, pitched his website search engine for finding and applying for human services such as food, housing, healthcare, education and jobs. He got inspired to create the company after he became his disabled mother’s guardian at the age of 26. He had to find services and help for her and he didn’t know where to go. Founded in September of 2010, Aunt Bertha has four full time employees, an intern and two contractors. More than 23,000 people have searched for services using Aunt Bertha.
Aunt Bertha is a software as a service company that sells application processing software, but it’s evolving into a data and intelligence company, Gray said.
“This is just a great chance to work for a great Austin company and build a valuable service,” Gray said. “I jumped at the chance to come. I’m fortunate to have been selected.”
Ed Bellis, CEO of Risk I/O, based in Chicago, pitched his vulnerability assessment and management software. His company, founded in 2010, has raised $6 million and has more than 2,000 customers. It has also processed 10.2 million vulnerabilities. He asked to partner with Dell.
Shion Deysarkar, CEO of Houston-based Datafiniti, a search engine for data, has 330 customers with $1.1 million in revenue. Deysarkar asked Dell for access to its Project Copper server technology and startup pricing on its products.
This is the first time Dell’s held this kind of event, Vanderveldt said. Dell is seeking to identify the next companies for mergers and acquisitions, she said. In the feedback from the executives, Dell will consider what the next steps will be, she said. There are no guarantees any buyouts or investments will happen.
“It’s an experiment,” she said. “Anything can happen from today.”
Dell plans to hold many more Tech Innovators Days and will publish information on the next ones on its website, Vanderveldt said.
“We’re looking for who is pitching a fascinating idea,” Vanderveldt said.
Under the Dell Center for Entrepreneurship, the company has programs for entrepreneurs at all different stages from early-stage bootstrappers to funded companies, Vanderveldt said. Last summer, Dell launched the Founder’s Club, an invitation-only program for companies with funding and now has 50 companies enrolled and a waiting list to get in. Dell also has the $100 million Dell Innovator Credit Fund, which invests in startups.
Grapevine, founded by Richard Ortega and Eric Larson in San Antonio, asked for a chance to partner with Dell. The company makes a reputation management software system. It aggregates customer reviews from several different sites online and then sends an email alert to the company. Larson thought the day spent at Dell was well worth it.
“We got assurance we will be given a phone number to call,” said Larson. “At the very minimum, we’ll get feedback on our product. All in all, this has been a great experience.”
The startups weren’t the only ones who got value from the event.
On Friday morning, Dell’s President Felice tweeted “Dell’s Tech Innovators Day reminds me that it’s important to stay thirsty, innovative and entrepreneurial.”

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