Today is a truly unique day at Dell, and I couldn’t be prouder. As part of our first-ever Tech Innovators Day, we’ve invited 15 high-potential entrepreneurs to our Round Rock headquarters for a unique opportunity to meet with Steve Felice, Dell’s President and Chief Commercial Officer and other senior-level Dell executives to gather valuable feedback and advice as they grow their companies.  In addition to a “pitch slam”, this day-long event will also include a panel discussion with companies that have been acquired by Dell, a tour of the Social Media Command Center, a tour of the Enterprise Solutions Center, networking and more.

Hosting this event at our headquarters is important on so many levels. We want entrepreneurs to truly understand how far we’ve come as we remind them that Dell is a great American entrepreneurial success story – the little hardware start-up that grew out of Michael Dell’s college dorm room selling PC’s directly to consumers and became a multi-billion-dollar, global technology solutions provider. That spirit is alive and well at Dell today as entrepreneurial spirit is among our most important guiding principles - Dell remains committed to its start-up roots, and today, helps smaller companies go big.

For our inaugural Tech Innovators Day class we have representatives from all over the US including Atlanta, Chicago, New York and more, but we are so thrilled to have such a strong group from Austin as it begins to join the ranks of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto and Silicon Alley in New York as another big start-up hub. Many of our Tech Innovators Day attendees were selected as representatives of local accelerators and co-working spaces including 1871, Capital Factory, Springboard, ATI, and Tech Ranch, or they participated in one of our Small Business Think Tank events.

According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, The Capital Factory of Austin, the Chamber’s partner in the Austin TechLive “entrepreneurial initiative”, is now home to 87 companies and 185 members in the 22,000 square foot co-working space in downtown Austin, plus 5,353 yearly guests and attendees, all since the official opening on May 31, 2012. In 2012, the Austin Chamber tracked $1.0B in regional investment.

Texas’ entrepreneurial community, according to Startup America, is also growing, bringing in nearly $315MM in annual revenue. Of those companies, 29% are founded by women and 39% are founded by minorities. These numbers are incredibly promising and point to a bright future for all of Texas’ start-ups.

As Dell’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, my role is to help bring the outside in – help bring impressive entrepreneurs like these, driven by passion and a desire to have a real impact on their world, while creating shared value for both Dell and the entrepreneurial community. It’s days like, Tech Innovators Day, that I’m so proud of what we’ve all been able to accomplish.

Please meet our Tech Innovators Day Inaugural Class: