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HP Rolls Out a New Corporate Venture Unit

TechCrunch TechCrunch 10/05/2016 Connie Loizos

There’s a new corporate venture arm in town.

Roughly six months after Hewlett-Packard finalized its division into two companies — Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which focuses on servers, storage, networking, and security; and HP Inc., which continues to sell PCs and printers — the latter is introducing a new venture unit called HP Tech Ventures.

The eight-person team, which ultimately reports up to HP’s CTO Shane Wall, is being led by Andrew Bolwell, who has spent the last 16 years with HP and has held the title of chief disruptor for the last few of them.

Among his colleagues and cofounders are Irit Hillel, based in Israel, and Vitaly Golumb, who is based alongside Bolwell in Palo Alto.

In a brief meeting at Disrupt New York yesterday, Bolwell gave us a few details about HP Tech Ventures’s plans. The idea is to focus primarily on seed- and Series A deals that serve HP Inc strategically. The team will focus on five areas, including: 3D printing and the broader ecosystem that supports it; immersive experiences, including both augmented reality and virtual reality; smart machines, including home and commercial robots; and the Internet of Things.

The unit isn’t managing a discrete fund; it’s investing off HP Inc’s balance sheet.

Before Hewlett-Packard divided itself into two publicly traded companies, it had launched a venture firm called Hewlett Packard Ventures. The two-year-old outfit, also based in Palo Alto but managed and run by a wholly separate team,  continues to provides expansion-stage capital to enterprise start-ups focused on cloud, data centers, big data and security.

Pictured above: The Palo Alto garage, and now private museum, where HP was founded in 1939.


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