<b>Another Dell-EMC marriage: This time, of corporate investment arms</b>
Dell Technologies, the new parent company of Hopkinton data-storage stalwart EMC, says it’s ready to write some checks.
On Monday, the company said that it has combined the corporate investment arms of Dell and EMC into one new unit, now called Dell Technologies Capital.
Dell said the team, led by former EMC Ventures president Scott Darling, will make investments of about $100 million per year and look to acquire companies.
Most of the group, including Darling, is based in Palo Alto, Calif. Others are based in Israel and the Boston area, including former EMC execs Gregg Adkin and Matt Olton.
EMC had been a quiet corporate investor, often unmentioned when startups made their own fund-raising news. But under Dell, the group is already making more of a splash.
On Monday, Dell detailed its existing roster of more than 70 investments, including in the Boston-area startups Nantero and Nasuni, and Darling said the company plans to write checks at a quicker pace now that the Dell-EMC merger is finished.
They picked a pretty good backdrop for placing more bets on startups: the Dell EMC World annual conference, taking place this week at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. — CURT WOODWARD
Celebrating ROI at the chamber — that’s ‘return on influence’
You’ve heard the term “return on investment.” But how about recognizing “return on influence”?
The leadership of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce trotted out the catch phrase for Monday’s annual meeting at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston.
A year ago, the chamber’s CEO, Jim Rooney, opted to highlight Boston’s role as a global city during his first annual meeting as the chamber’s top executive. This year, Rooney decided to focus on what he referred to as “return on influence” — honoring business leaders who share their successes by donating their time, talent, and money to make the Boston area a better place.
After the famed lawyer and Brockton native Ken Feinberg gave the keynote address, chamber leaders inducted five more people into the organization’s “Academy of Distinguished Bostonians.” They are Joyce and Bill Cummings, founders of Cummings Properties and the first Massachusetts couple to sign the Giving Pledge; Carol Fulp, CEO of The Partnership Inc., a nonprofit that fosters careers for minority professionals; and philanthropists Sandy Edgerley, Hexagon Properties’ president, and Paul Edgerley, senior adviser at Bain Capital.
Speaking before the event, Rooney said it’s important to highlight successful executives who give back to the community.
“Some of the rhetoric around the [proposed] millionaires tax is that ‘We have to get more out of them,’ ” he said. “Here are some living examples of people that don’t fit that narrative that we too often hear of successful business people being bad, being greedy. . . . This is intended to celebrate people who have given their time, their talent and their treasure in meaningful ways.” — JON CHESTO
Achieving business success, despite the dyslexia
The teams that competed in a recent pitch competition at Amesbury-based InventiveLabs shared an unusual quality: They were all “cognitively diverse.”
Translation: At least one member of each had a “learning difference,” such as dyslexia, autism, or ADHD. The philosophy behind the contest was to give people who think and learn differently a chance to achieve business success.
The teams spent three months preparing at InventiveLabs’ business accelerator.
The four winners were:
■ Hyperapptive, cofounded by Craig Simms of Boxford and Chris Janowski of Reading, whose WakeMe app aims to “make waking up a social experience” by connecting you to family, friends, and, yes, advertisers, as soon as you start your day.
■ Xinarow, from Bill Evans and Will Keller, both of Southbury, Conn., a staffing firm that places people with disabilities in call centers.
■ Qipo, cofounded by MIT grads Javier Garcia and John O’Sullivan, both of Cambridge; it’s creating an app that lets people share calendars, to-do lists, and files for collaborative projects.
■ GeoMonuments, a Texas company that turns genealogy data into visual stories, including in 3-D.
Next up for the winners: traveling to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to pitch in front of an even bigger audience. — SACHA PFEIFFER