Today, Dell is proud to announce the creation of our first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program bringing on board one of today's leading entrepreneurs in green IT, Ingrid Vanderveldt.
If you aren’t familiar with the entrepreneur-in-residence model, typically it is a way for venture capital firms or investors to nurture a big idea and successful company and then invest in the new venture at the end of the EIR’s term. Most often, the EIR has successfully started and sold companies and can bring that expertise and passion to the job.
When I sat down with Ingrid to discuss this concept, the first thing we talked about was - why would Dell do this? Obviously, Dell isn’t a VC and EIRs aren’t common in the technology sector. But when you think about the way Dell designs and brings solutions to market -- inspired by the thousands of conversations we have with customers each day and the needs we are helping them address -- this makes total sense. It is critical that we create technology solutions that solve real business problems, in this case the needs of small and medium businesses. In creating the EIR, Dell is expanding the ways we connect with, learn from and understand the needs of growing businesses so we can bring solutions and services to market that help them succeed.
For Dell, the EIR program 'brings the outside in.' The customers’ point of view is always our number one consideration and having an EIR sitting with us and helping drive strategy takes our ability to listen and act on what customers need to the next level. As EIR, Ingrid will help us create an even more meaningful bridge between Dell and the SMB marketplace and how we best serve them.
As Dell's first EIR, Ingrid will play a role in a few primary areas:
Ingrid has deep Texas roots given her time at the University of Texas Business School and mentor Dr. George Kozmetsky. Dell got to know Ingrid through our inaugural Dell Womens’ Entrepreneur Network event in China, and we’ve watched her grow in her career, ventures as founder of Green Girl Energy, and as a significant role model and advocate for women and green IT. We see these areas – SMB and sustainability - as being critical investments for our company, as well as being global economic priorities for job creation and growth.
We need entrepreneurs like Ingrid to be wildly successful, and Dell is committed to help power that success by developing technology solutions that help their businesses increase productivity and grow. We couldn't think of a better fit for our first EIR than Ingrid with her track record as a CEO, public spokesperson (as a former CNBC host), and a peer to the small and medium business, a market that is so critical to our global economic recovery.
Look for updates from Ingrid here on Direct2Dell and follow her on Twitter at @ontheroadwithiv. If you have questions or suggestions for our EIR program, we’d love to hear them.
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I am SO PROUD to be with you all. Thank you very much for this incredible opportunity and all you do Steve, JJ and team to support business owners around the globe. :)
I applaud Dell for implementing a fabulous program and congratulate Ingrid for earning the opportunity to be the program's first entrepreneur! I believe that investing in and supporting such creative programs is both innovative and practical. Best wishes!
Thanks to both of you... Ingrid for your participation overall and to you @trsexplorer for the vote of support. I definitely agree that working to support entrepreneurs is a good thing, and expect to see more coming from the Entrepreneur In Residence program.