Hearing the calls of founders tangled up in tech stacks and dealing with increasingly tight runways, global tech leader Dell Technologies has stepped up its local support for Aussie startups at a crucial time.
We may be going through a dip in Australian startup funding, but the bigger picture is bright. Sydney and Melbourne were respectively the highest-ranked startup ecosystems in Oceania in the recent Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), with the entire region recording the highest increase in early-stage global funding anywhere over the past five years.
It’s this context of rapid growth that has given rise to the Dell for Startups program in Australia. Adapted from a successful US program that’s been running since 2019, previously known as Dell for Entrepreneurs, the Dell for Startups program is tailored specifically to help startups tackle the pain points of building, rolling out and scaling tech.
Why Dell for Startups?
The free membership program offers a startup-focused IT advice service, assistance with applying for grants, special member discounts and community networking events.
Julie Perkins, APJ Small Business Strategic Partnerships Senior Manager at Dell Technologies, tells Startup Daily why the program fills a gap in the market, especially with early-stage startups needing extra support.
“Not all startups are tech savvy and understand what technology they need to support their business ideas and those are the ones that we feel our Dell tech advisors can support the most,” says Julie.
“By understanding the startup business ideas, our tech advisor team can advise each startup of what end-to-end IT requirements they may need for now and what they may need to scale in the future as their business grows.”
With a specially trained team in startup tech issues, Dell’s tech advisors can help answer the prickly questions founders have around anything from software to hardware, servers to storage, ready-to-go-tech and what may need to be custom-built for the future.
“So for example, we have an OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] team that can actually help you build your own product if it’s got something to do with technology. We listen out for that and try to offer advice and help in any way possible,” Julie says.
Because not every founder is a technical founder
Dell for Startups aims to be a helper from MVP to IPO, offering the value of a major tech partner’s expertise to local startups.
Julie says the tech advisors provide “consultancy type of advice” rather than a traditional B2B engagement. “We’ve got a group of trained tech advisors within the wider tech advisor community, specialising in supporting startups,” she says. “As we talk and engage more with startups, we want to make sure we’re offering all the right solutions.”
Underpinning the program is the insight that not every founder is a technical founder, and even technical founders could use tech support.
“When you’re a startup, you’re handling so many different things – you’re doing your marketing, sales, pitching, research, you’re just doing everything. And you can’t know everything,” Julie says. “So it’s important to have a company that you would trust to help, support and guide you.”
Help with extending runways
While technology is Dell’s bread and butter, the program recognises the growing squeeze on founders to extend their runways where possible. To help alleviate the pain, the program offers discounts for members and the team can assist with relevant public funding opportunities.
“Dell has a great partnership with the Grants Office Australia, who can assist startups with understanding the available grants and help with applications, combined with the understanding of the tech requirements,” Julie explains.
“This is a great opportunity for startups to potentially receive funding for the technology they will need to drive their business forward.”
Community connections and events
In the US, the program has powered a number of pitch competitions including a $25k pitch competition at SXSW in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.
Locally, Dell for Startups has partnered with early-stage startup community Fishburners on their recent Marketplaces Pitch Night in Sydney; and they’re a supporting partner of the upcoming 2023 Startup Daily Best in Tech Awards on September 6 (get your tickets now!).
“The success of the Dell for Startups Program in the US has helped us understand and learn what is truly required to support startup customers and how best we can partner with incubators and accelerators in Australia to reach and support more startups through new partnerships,” says Julie.
If it saves a few grey hairs in the process, that’s a win for founders.
This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in partnership with Dell Technologies.
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