Intel starts alliance to invest $3.5B fund in U.S. tech industries

In a kind of Marshall Plan for the U.S. tech economy, Intel said it is starting a $3.5 billion fund to invest in American tech companies.

The Invest in America Alliance was unveiled by Intel chief executive Paul Otellini in Washington, D.C., today as part of a speech outlining the need for a “culture of investment” in the United States. He delivered the speech at the Brookings Institution think tank as part of a plan to increase U.S. competitiveness in the global economy.

The company has also rounded up pledges from 17 companies to increase their hiring of new college graduates in the U.S., with total jobs pledged at 10,500 so far.

The alliance is led by Intel and it includes participation from 24 venture capital firms who collectively plan to invest $3.5 billion in U.S. tech companies over the next two years. The idea is to create a private sector effort to complement state and federal job creation programs. Intel’s share of the fund is $200 million.

The Intel Capital Invest in America Technology Fund targets growth areas such as cleantech, information tech and biotech. Participating firms include Advanced Technology Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Bridgescale Partners, Canaan Partners, DCM, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Flywheel Ventures, Good Energies, Institutional Venture Partners, Investcorp Technology Partners, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, North Bridge Venture Partners, QuestMark Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds, Storm Ventures, Telesoft Partners, Updata Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and Walden International.

The Invest in America Alliance includes hiring commitments from Intel, Accenture, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Autodesk, Broadcom Corporation, CDW LLC., Cisco, Dell, eBay, Inc., EMC Corporation, GE, Google, Inc., HP, Liberty Mutual Group, Marvell Semiconductor Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Yahoo.

“Strong, enduring economies grow out of a culture of investment and a commitment to innovation,” Otellini said in a statement.  “We simply must have a clear, consistent strategy to promote innovation, investment and start-up companies. There are things business can do, and ought to do, independent of what government achieves.”

Other companies and VCs are expected to join in the coming months. A year ago, during the midst of the recession, Intel pledged to spend $7 billion over two years to upgrade its manufacturing facilities. That investment created 7,000 high-wage manufacturing jobs and 4,000 contract jobs in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon, Intel said.

Intel called out particular categories ripe for investment, including molecular diagnostics, bioinformatics, electric vehicle ecosystem and wireless infrastructure. Intel itself has made over 1,350 investments in U.S. businesses totaling $6.2 billion over two decades.