Dell Offering Aims at Startups Through Their VCs

Dell Computer Corp. is offering a new program to help startup companies that have received venture capital funding put together and manage a technology infrastructure to support their business goals.

Dell announced VC Direct Tuesday, saying it will offer the young companies a range of benefits, including a rapid lease approval process for obtaining computers through Dell Venture Leasing. Startups associated with the three participating venture capital companies -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Austin Ventures and Dell Ventures -- are eligible for the expedited approval lease processing, a spokesman for Dell said.

Companies that qualify could have their lease applications approved in as little as one day, according to the spokesman.

VC Direct also offers access to Web hosting providers, including Dell's own service, and a set number of sessions with consultants to help the companies with their early-stage growth. In addition, the program offers startups a dedicated senior Dell account manager as a single point of contact; a suite of online tools to manage IT assets; Cisco Systems Inc.'s SmartStart package of products and equipment complemented by support, leasing and discounting from Dell; and special pricing on sales of hardware and services.

Dell has recognized that a significant challenge facing startups is their ability to manage resources, Frank Muehleman, senior vice president of Dell's home and small business group, said in a written statement announcing the new service. The VC Direct program provides technology, resources and consulting so the companies can focus on their business plans, Muehleman said in the statement.

Dell's ultimate goal is to try to tap into the startup market and expand its reach there, the spokesman said. Dell views it as an opportunity to help startups build their infrastructure so they can focus on getting their businesses off the ground, he said. Dell does not plan to take equity in any of the startups.

Dell, in Round Rock, Texas, can be reached at +1-512-338-4400 or

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