It is somehow appropriate that our first DWEN Spotlight features Dell’s very first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), Ingrid Vanderveldt. For those who don’t know Ingrid, she is a serial entrepreneur full of boundless energy, propelled by what she calls the “ triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits,” and driven to help change the world.

Although she’s only been the Dell EIR for a few months, Ingrid’s been quite busy, already launching a new website filled with inspirational interviews and information to help entrepreneurs navigate through the various stages of business ownership: idea, startup, ramp up and speed up. After meeting with Ingrid almost immediately following the DWEN conference in Rio de Janeiro, Steve Felice, Dell’s president, Consumer, Small and Medium Business, made the incredibly quick decision (especially for a global corporate giant) to create an EIR. Ingrid says the impetus for that decision came partly from addressing two crucial questions: “How can we really make a difference?” and “How can we help business owners grow?”

Possibly explaining her former success as a TV host on CNBC, Ingrid possesses the unique ability to connect with people, which meshes well with the goal of the EIR program. As Ingrid explains, she will help Dell “expand the ways we connect with, learn from and understand the needs of growing businesses” so Dell can offer solutions and services to help them succeed.

When Ingrid plans to sleep is anyone’s guess, since in addition to being the Dell EIR, she’s working on her next business venture, as well as running her existing companies, which include Green Girl Energy and the GLASS Forum (Global Leadership & Sustainable Success).

Ingrid first took the entrepreneurial plunge in 1998, and hasn’t slowed down since. Today, she is a woman on a mission, saying her “life’s work is to collaborate with corporate, government, media, nonprofit and visionary decision-makers” to help realize her goal to “find, promote and distribute sustainable solutions to empower a billion women by 2020.” Her quest of helping “ foster a more sustainable future for our planet” will be carried out through the GLASS Forum, which will be an invitation-only annual event where global women leaders work on solving the challenges of achieving sustainability, including renewable energy policies and social investment.

“ I fundamentally believe that if we are going to create the change we want to see in the world, we must view sustainability through the eyes of women,” Ingrid says. I have no doubt she will get her wish and help “create lasting global, positive change.”
Reiva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at and visit her blog at to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.