Dell this week announced Founders Club 50, a two-year program designed to give 50 startups a significant boost. According to Joyce Mullen, Dell’s vice president, eligible companies must use technology as an essential component of thier operations and be fully prepared for growth.
Getting into the program requires either a direct application or a nomination from Dell’s sales teams or an investment firm. This makes sense since most of the companies that made the first class already have venture capitalists or angel investors backing them.
Once accepted to Founders Club 50, startups get access to consulting to improve how they handle technology as they scale up. Some may even receive financing through The Dell Innovators Credit Fund, which offers $100 million in financing to qualifying entrepreneurs.
The Spring 2014 class is currently in progress and includes the likes of SimpleRelevance, an email optimization platform designed to create customized email messages automatically; Ihiji, a “cloud-based remote network solution for IT professionals”; and Raise, a marketplace for buying and selling gift cards. Dell is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2014 class of Founders Club 50.
This is not the first time Dell has lent a helping hand to entrepreneurs. In 2011, it launched the Entrepreneur in Residence program. The company also created a Center for Entrepreneurs. Dell was founded in 1984 and went public in July 1988. The company is headquartered in Round Rock, TX and currently has 80,000 employees.