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IBM, Dell, HP Focus Spotlight on Entrepreneurs

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As part of President Barack Obama’s drive to create jobs by fostering entrepreneurship, the Startup America Partnership was launched today with the support of a number of GovCon companies.

HP will invest $4 million in 2011 in its entrepreneurship program, HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE). The program focuses on educational and technology outreach.

IBM has pledged $150 million this year in programs to support entrepreneurship. The money will focus on mentorship for new business owners, expanding education programs, and providing opportunities for software developers.

“IBM has a unique business model when it comes to working with VCs and entrepreneurs,” said Promod Haque, managing partner of Norwest Venture Partners. “We have worked closely with IBM for more than a decade to identify trends, partnerships and potential new businesses. This new investment will greatly accelerate our ongoing collaboration with IBM as we are both deeply committed to fostering innovation in the U.S.”

Dell is focusing on grooming young entrepreneurs as part of its 2011 Dell Social Innovation Competition, taking place in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin. The winner of the $50,000 grand prize will best demonstrate using entrepreneurship, technology and sustainability to solve social problems worldwide.

In total, more than $100,000 will be awarded for innovators to realize their social startups.

“True change comes from the ground up,” said Trisa Thompson, Dell VP of corporate responsibility. “Many times, it’s the small ideas that evolve into revolutionary organizations. Dell was founded on these ideals, and we want to build on the entrepreneurial spirit these students possess and equip them with the tools they need to turn their innovative ideas for social good into a reality.”

Entries are still being accepted until Feb. 14. Students of higher education worldwide are eligible to apply.

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