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  • After success of U.S. Center for Entrepreneurs, Dell kicks off global expansion with U.K. launch
  • Dell launches Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence Advisory Board, including World Entrepreneurship Forum’s 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Ashish J. Thakkar
  • Online “pitch slam” contest will give lucky start-up an opportunity to pitch their business to Michael Dell at Dell World

In conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Dell today announced plans for global expansion of the Center for Entrepreneurs, starting with the launch of the U.K. Centre for Entrepreneurs, and the appointment of its Entrepreneur-in-Residence Global Advisory Board to lend strategic direction around global rollout of entrepreneurial initiatives.

Through the Center for Entrepreneurs, Dell is opening up its resources to start-ups in unprecedented ways to help fuel innovation and global growth, including giving select founders direct access to business feedback from Michael Dell via the Tech Innovation day: Pitch Slam  taking place during Dell World 2013. Dell is kicking off an online contest today to locate the final technology startup to participate in the event.

“For Dell, supporting entrepreneurs isn’t just a business strategy, but a corporate philosophy. Since launching in the United States a year ago, the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs has been a true testament to the collaborative win-win of startups and corporations partnering for growth,” said Ingrid Vanderveldt, entrepreneur-in-residence at Dell. “Today, we’re excited to be taking big steps forward in expanding this footprint globally.”

Global Expansion of the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs
Dell Center for Entrepreneurs initiatives include the Dell Innovators Credit Fund, a $115M debt capital financing program through Dell Financial Services for U.S. and U.K.-based venture and angel-backed startups that provides financial and technology resources to bolster speed-to-market and create jobs. Another is the Dell Founders Club, targeted to entrepreneurs leading recently funded companies who view technology as a critical “backbone” to business success, and  have immediate technology needs to scale quickly. Since the launch in June 2012, the Founders Club has grown from 25 initial members to more than 150 members ; creating a diverse, robust and highly beneficial network for CEOs and Founders of fast-growth startups.

These initiatives have helped Dell develop mutually beneficial relationships with fast-growth entrepreneurs during their crucial early stages. Neverware, a New York startup improving schools’ access to working computers through software it developed that helps old computers run like new, is a member of the Dell Founders Club and one of the startups participating in the upcoming "pitch slam" at Dell World.

“The support we've received from Dell as a member of the Founders Club has been critical to the growth of Neverware,” said Jonathan Hefter, CEO of Neverware. “Scaling-up a startup is never simple, but with Dell as a partner, we've had many powerful resources that have been of tremendous value in the process. We're excited to share with Michael Dell and the other pitch slam judges at Dell World what we’ve been able to accomplish as a Founders Club member.”

With the success and impact these programs have created in the United States, Dell is expanding the Center for Entrepreneurs globally starting with the U.K. Centre live now, followed by Ireland later this year, and additional markets to be announced throughout 2014.

Entrepreneur-in-Residence Global Advisory Board
Dell today is also announcing the appointment of its Entrepreneur-in-Residence Global Advisory Board, which will work alongside the Dell Founding Entrepreneur-in-Residence Advisory Board to serve as a collective voice for entrepreneurs worldwide and lend strategic insight to Dell’s entrepreneurial initiatives.

The global board is comprised of a curated group of influential entrepreneurs and experts from around the world including Ashish J. Thakkar, founder of pan-African multi-sector investment group Mara Group and winner of 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award at the World Entrepreneurship Forum; Ido Leffler, co-founder of Yes To Inc., the No. 2 natural beauty brand in the U.S; Marcelo Sales, founding partner of 21212, a digital business accelerator headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and New York City; Catherine Graham, president and co-owner of RIGHTSLEEVE, and co-founder and CEO of commonsku, and Elizabeth Gore, resident entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation.

Tech Innovation Day: Pitch Slam - Call for Entries
Taking place during Dell World 2013 in Austin on December 12, the Tech Innovators Day: Pitch Slam presents a unique and invaluable opportunity for startups to receive candid feedback directly from a panel of esteemed judges including Michael Dell. Presented by the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs, the event will take place in front of a live audience and will also be available for viewing worldwide via livestream broadcast.

Six participating startups have been identified through regional pitch competitions held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin and the United Kingdom. Now Dell is looking for the seventh and final participant to join the regional winners by opening a call for entries online.

All entries should be submitted via the online form on the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs. Dell will begin accepting submissions today and the call for entries will close at midnight Friday, November 29.

Requirements for Applicants:
Applicants should be post-launch, revenue-generating growth-stage companies. They should also have a B2B technology focus and a compelling enterprise business solution that could benefit Dell, its partners or clients. Key areas of interest include, but are not limited to, big data and analytics, infrastructure and platforms, and enterprise solutions.

Guidelines for Submission:
To enter, companies should provide their “elevator pitch” in 250 words or less on why their business should be selected, as well as give brief responses to the following questions – (1) how does technology enable the success of your company? and (2) if you are selected as winner, what would you hope to gain?

All entries should be submitted via the online form on the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs. Dell will begin accepting submissions today and the call for entries will close at midnight on Friday, November 29.

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Additional Quotes:
“Having started my first company at the age of 15 selling computers in Africa, I have first-hand experience building a business from scratch and understand the challenges that face young entrepreneurs in getting ahead. I admire the work that Dell is doing to empower entrepreneurs and feel honored to be joining their Global Advisory Board to help shape the way we support young business leaders globally,” said Ashish J. Thakkar, founder, Mara Group. “Entrepreneurs are the innovators and job creators of tomorrow, so we should do all we can to support and nurture their growth, particularly in developing nations like Africa.”

“It is such a great honor to join Dell’s Global Advisory Board and be able to work with the company on tackling the challenge of how to make life easier for entrepreneurs,” said Ido Leffler, co-founder of Yes To Inc. “From day one, Dell has set its sights on creating effective tools to help entrepreneurs such as myself to ‘get big fast’. Dell has assembled a group of amazing entrepreneurs from around the world to join the advisory team, and I really believe that together we’ll be able to make a difference, helping the next generation of entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and aspirations even faster.”[RW1]

“Entrepreneurs inspire innovation, drive job creation and foster a growing economy – that’s why it is so important to put our support behind these companies at an early stage,” said Aongus Hegarty, president, Dell Europe, Middle East and Africa. “With the expansion of the Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs to the U.K., we’re now able to accelerate access to funding, mentoring and networks, as well as offer Dell’s technical expertise and world class infrastructure to help these developing businesses grow and scale quickly.”

Media Contacts
Charlotte Deal

Dell Global Communications

+1 (512) 728-4704
Rebecca Wolfe

PPR Worldwide

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