Austin | Dallas | Houston
Austin Entrepreneur Video Series
Profiles of Innovation

Ingrid Vanderveldt: Empowering women and future entrepreneurs as Dell's first EIR

austin photo set: news_arden_profile_ingrid vanderveldt
austin photo set: news_arden_profile_ingrid vanderveldt
austin photo set: news_arden_profile_ingrid vanderveldt

In her impressively diverse career, Ingrid Vanderveldt has established herself as a true entrepreneur — and a missionary for the human spirit.

As the first ever Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at Dell, Vanderveldt is not only launching her latest business plan, which is a towering feat in itself; the founder of Green Girl Energy, and advisor to SXSW Eco, is also creating a worldwide initiative that will have a long-lasting impact.

 The program is a $100 million campaign that matches funding with initiatives to help entrepreneurs fulfill their start-up dreams. 

 “As I looked at my own career path and my own go forward, I was committed to a vision from then forward to empower a billion women by 2020,” she says of the idea that led to her current work with Dell.

The program is a $100 million campaign that matches funding with initiatives to help entrepreneurs fulfill their start-up dreams.

“I shared with [Steve Felice] my vision and my role and commitment to women of the world,” says Vanderveldt, “and together we dreamt up this idea of working together and created the Entrepreneur-in-Residence position.” As EIR at Dell, an unconventional role for a tech company, Vanderveldt will launch her next business endeavor under the guiding hand of the Austin-based technology leader.

“I thought I would launch another green energy company, because those were my last two companies,” she recalls. “But after being engaged with Dell… I built a business plan with my team to create what’s now called the Dell Innovators Credit Fund.”

The program is a $100 million campaign that matches funding with initiatives to help entrepreneurs fulfill their start-up dreams. It’s an endeavor that Vanderveldt, a lifelong entrepreneur, passionately believes in.

 This September, her sights are set beyond our borders, as she opens her first school for women and girls outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

Because, as Vanderveldt notes, “any successful entrepreneur that you look at has gone through their own level of failure.” And though she now finds herself in a place where she can be the champion for those carving out their own business dreams, the entrepreneurial road has offered its fair share of bumps and sharp curves for Vanderveldt, too.

“You cannot be a successful entrepreneur without having hit complete rock bottom at some point.”

“I was living out of my car,” she says of an early business venture that she poured her savings into — a venture that is thankfully now just in the "rearview mirror."

As the Dell Innovators Credit Fund initiative takes off to empower the next class of entrepreneurs, Vanderveldt is wasting no time in reaching her goal of empowering women around the world. This September, her sights are set beyond our borders, as she opens her first school for women and girls outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“We will be bringing a school to teach the women and girls down there how to see themselves as leaders, and as visionaries, and as people who can make a difference in their community — and then certainly teach them about entrepreneurship.”

As a girl, Ingrid Vanderveldt thought she would grow up to be a missionary: “I wanted to be in service to people of the world.”

There’s no doubt that she has fulfilled her dreams from childhood; she’s just taken that calling to the next level, and innovated it — if you will — to reflect her natural inclination toward entrepreneurship.

“It’s both a gift and a curse when you have a mind that just pushes like ours will do,” she says.

“I don’t know that there’s ever a point when I’m going to stop. I think I challenge myself to continue to expand in every sense of the word.”

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Austin news, views + events

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address