At Dell World this week, the company highlighted its ongoing efforts to empower entrepreneurs through use of a two-pronged campaign that involves products and policy. And Dell hasn’t forgotten about kidpreneurs either.
Dell is actively engaged in initiatives aimed at a diverse range of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Karen Quintos, CMO of Dell, Inc., told SiliconANGLE’s The Cube during Dell World in Austin, Texas:
“We need to make sure our customers are ready for the future — and the future is now … We can do amazing things for our customers.”
She discussed big focal points like the cloud, security, mobility and big data — and the need to help Dell’s customers take full advantage of them.
Some Dell customers are indeed amazed.
Barry Moltz, small business author, speaker and radio host, who attended this year’s Dell World, noted, “I was surprised that Dell is not just about hardware. They have programs in place to truly help the entrepreneur and their community.”
Another concept small businesses are still trying to get their heads around is the cloud, though Dell and new partner Microsoft are trying to provide a solution for that issue.
Brent Leary, industry analyst and managing partner of CRM Essentials who also was at Dell World, said, “The cloud is still a mystery to many small businesses. When you take away the high-flying tech companies that know the cloud, the rest are still figuring out how the cloud fits their businesses.”
Finally, Dell is championing the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how even small businesses must leverage this emerging area of technology or be left behind. IoT is when everyday objects have connectivity to the Internet, offering an opportunity to pass information back and forth.
Andy Rhodes, Executive Director for Dell’s IoT Solutions, told Small Business Trends in an interview that small businesses can enhance their productivity by leveraging IoT.
“I think there is an absolute imperative for small businesses to ask if I’m going to get left behind in my business model if I don’t go and look at IoT and see what it might do for my business,” he said. “… people either get ahead or they get left behind.”
Rhodes noted one example, a small farm in India that is “connecting up their cows and looking at what they eat, when they take their cow vitamins, and then mapping that back … to see how they can improve their milk yields.”
Dell World also included its 3rd annual Pitch Slam, a Shark Tank-like experience where key startups from across the globe are selected to present their company, products, and services to an esteemed panel of judges. The event gives the founders of these innovative companies valuable feedback as well as exposure to promote their emerging brands.
Dell’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Elizabeth Gore also joined a discussion with Mikaila Ulmer, the 11-year-old founder of BeeSweet Lemonade to discuss the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. The discussion focused on why entrepreneurs are so fundamental to a growing economy and why it’s especially important to support women and girls.
Ulmer said in a conversation captured on the Dell World YouTube Channel:
“My business is BeeSweet Lemonade. It’s making a measurable impact on saving the bees and I’m also inspiring kids like me to be entrepreneurs.”
Ulmer started her business when she was four! She was stung by two bees in one week as she was about to join a contest that required her to develop her own product. She used her grandmother’s 1930s recipe for flaxseed lemonade and the BeeSweet brand was born. Ulmer pays a percentage of the sales from her product to local and international organizations working to save the bees.
“When I was four a lot of people said you’re too young to start a business,” she said. “The hardest part was probably to keep on going and to work even harder to accomplish my goal.”
“I didn’t want to be the average four-year-old,” she added. “I wanted to be an entrepreneur.” She advised entrepreneurs to be passionate, keep their eyes open and added that you still can “be sweet and be profitable.”
Asked what some of the takeaways were from Mikaila’s advice, Gore said, “All of it — absolutely all of it — even the way she started, getting stung by a bee, a lot of entrepreneurs overcome adversity.”
Calling the 11-year-old a rock star, Gore added, “If people aren’t listening to everything Mikaila said, they’re not very wise.”
Mikaila embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, Gore added.
Panel Discussion at Dell World with kidpreneur Mikaila Ulme