First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Dell Creates $300 Million Fund to Help New Tech Companies

Company officials also are creating the Dell Research Division to ramp R&D within its own walls.

AUSTIN, Texas—Dell is looking to ramp up its investments in research both inside and outside the company.

CEO Michael Dell, speaking at the Dell World 2013 show here Dec. 12, announced that Dell Ventures—the vendor's investment arm—is establishing a $300 million fund to help startups get the money and help them develop their technologies.

At the same time, Michael Dell said the company had created the Dell Research Division to fuel in-house R&D that will touch upon all aspects of the company with a long-term vision. The group will "deliver organic innovation that is disruptive, that bridges across all of Dell and has a long-range focus [of] five to 10 years out," he said.

The new investments in technologies come two months after Michael Dell closed the $25 billion deal that took the company private. He and other executives had argued that taking the company private would enable them to more aggressively pursue their strategy to remake Dell into an enterprise IT solutions provider, and that would include increasing investment in R&D. The $300 million fund and the Research Division will help Dell follow through on that promise, executives said.

Dell last year created a similar $60 million fund—the Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund—aimed at helping young companies in the storage space. The money will be deployed over three to five years, and already Dell has engaged with more than 100 companies, according to Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden.

The new larger fund "is an opportunity for us to bring the power of Dell to new entrepreneurs," Gladden said during a press conference at the show.

The company will look to invest the money in areas that the company has expressed interest in, including cloud computing, big data, next-generation data centers, mobility and even more storage, he said. Those receiving help will not only get money, but also access to Dell's technology, channel and go-to-market solutions, Michael Dell said.