Entrepreneurs learn to raise capital in crisis, build a sustainable IT system with Dell

July 16, 2020 / Share:


“In every crisis there is opportunity. In every crisis, the strong get stronger,” said investor, entrepreneur, and podcaster Jason Calacanis at a webinar celebrating the EC’s collaboration with Dell for Entrepreneurs

Yesterday more than 80 entrepreneurs from San Francisco to Boston joined our kick-off event with Dell for Entrepreneurs to learn more about how Dell provides IT support to entrepreneurs across the globe, whether they have one computer or a whole network. 

“Dell chose to come with us, to help us be able to surround the entrepreneurs with resources they need,” said EC CEO Jane Allen, in an introduction for the webinar. “We want our entrepreneurs to know that here to help them increase their chances of success.”

The webinar kicked off with Calacanis as he shared his perspective on raising capital during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Calacanis has personal experience with navigating the business development landscape during a challenging time: He made many of his first investments just ahead of the 2008 recession.

“Human creativity, human resourcefulness got me through it every single time. Maybe this will make you and make your business stronger. You’ll make hard decisions, and realize that’s the job,” Calacanis said.

For many entrepreneurs who have been working on their businesses for less than 10 years, the on-going COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest, if not the only, disaster in the lifespan of their ventures. And everyone is experiencing it differently. 

Some are seeing a sharp drop in sales, while others — especially subscription-based businesses — are seeing increased interest from customers and investors. In both cases, it’s important for entrepreneurs to remember that keeping their businesses alive are not only supporting themselves, but also those they employ and serve.

“That’s the difference between an entrepreneur and a regular person. Entrepreneurs are able to qualify the fear and the risk, and determine that it’s worth taking,” said Calacanis. 

Among his tips for surviving and thriving were focusing on the customer, pivoting however many times it takes to make your business successful, and carefully measuring time and resources to experiment with their product before presenting it to the customer.

“I’m trying to encourage founders to block out this noise, which is getting louder and louder in society, and focus on your true north: the customer,” he said.

Attendees also had the opportunity to connect with Head of Strategic Partnerships at Dell Technologies, Mobolaji Sokunbi. With more than 10 years of experience working for Dell Technologies, Sokunbi offered a look into how the company has been supporting entrepreneurs not only in Nashville (which is home to the second largest Dell office in Tennessee!), but also across the world.

“Our CEO Michael Dell, who was the United Nations Foundation’s global advocate for entrepreneurship, is probably one of the most iconic entrepreneurs.” Sokunbi said. “He started making his own computers out of his dorm room at the University of Texas. That’s why this is so important to us.”

EC members have access to exclusive discounts through the collaboration with Dell for Entrepreneurs, but that’s not all! Have a question about what IT solutions are going to be best for your business? Connect one-on-one with technology experts from Dell who are dedicated to answering your questions and helping sustainably scale your business. 

“Every entrepreneur is at a different point in the journey. Some are just starting off, others are ready to scale, and Dell is there for every stage,” Sokunbi said. “We want you to understand that we’re a one-stop shop.”

EC members interested in one-on-one IT coaching through Dell or getting more information on what exclusive deals are available can reach out to Marcus Devane at marcus.devane@dell.com, email startups@dell.com or visit dell.com/nec.

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