Intel is leading a group of venture capital firms and IT businesses, including Dell, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Google and Microsoft, in investing up to $3.5 billion over the next two years in U.S. tech companies and increasing the hiring of recent U.S. college graduates. The goal of the Invest in America Alliance is to help the economy of the United States and improve its competitiveness in the world.
Intel is leading a large group of venture capital firms and IT
vendors in creating an investment vehicle to pump $3.5 billion into U.S.-based
technology companies over the next two years.
At a speech Feb. 23 at the Brookings Institution, in Washington,
Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced the Invest
in America Alliance, in which some two dozen venture capital firms will
participate, as will 17 technology vendors.
The economic goals of the effort are twofold, according to Intel:
to help companies in growth areas of the industry and to help recent college
graduates find work in what promises to continue to be a difficult job market.
Succeeding in both of these areas would help boost the United
States' competitiveness around the world.
"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 startup companies. There are things business can do, and ought
to do, independent of what government achieves. It would be a long-term mistake
to let our future scientists and engineers sit idle after graduation."
The project will follow two paths. The first is that Intel
Capital-the chip maker's investment arm-and two dozen venture capital firms
will invest $3.5 billion over two years in U.S.
technology companies. This includes a $200 million investment by Intel Capital
in America Technology Fund, which will target companies in such growth areas as
clean technology, IT and biotechnology.
Intel officials said the fund would help create jobs not only
in current market segments but also in growing areas, including molecular
diagnostics, bioinformatics, electric vehicle ecosystems and wireless infrastructure.
The second path involves a pledge by Intel and other technology
companies to increase their hiring of recent college grads, with some companies
doubling the number they hire. Companies that have signed on are Accenture,
Adobe Systems, Autodesk, Broadcom, CDW, Cisco Systems, Dell, eBay, EMC,
GE, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Liberty Mutual Group, Marvell Semiconductor,
Microsoft and Yahoo.
Intel estimated that this increase will mean about 10,500
college graduates will be hired in 2010 for such jobs as engineering, computer
science financial analysis, marketing, management consulting and sales.
During his speech, Otellini said bringing recent college
graduates into the workforce is imperative.
"This is an indispensable resource for the United
States, and in the current climate, there
hasn't been enough hiring momentum for them," he said.
In his talk, Otellini also touted the investments Intel has
made in recent years, including the $7 billion it is spending to upgrade
manufacturing facilities in New Mexico,
Oregon and elsewhere to build
Intel's 32-nanometer chips. In addition, Intel has spent almost $1 billion over
the past 10 years on education worldwide, particularly involving math and the
Otellini said the United States
must invest more in education and in making the country a more attractive place
for companies if it is to keep up with increasingly robust competitors,
South Korea and
However, he said he remains optimistic.
"The future is going to be more demanding, more
competitive and, frankly, more disruptive to American business," Otellini
said in his speech. "But those conditions, as anyone who has worked in Silicon
Valley knows, can be exactly the right environment for new
thinking and breakthrough innovations."