GE Catches Entrepreneurs’ Pitches

“While GE has some of the world’s best in-house research capabilities, it’s important to stay connected with great technology all over the globe,” says Todd Alhart, a spokesman for General Electric Global Research. “We always welcome new ideas from inventors and entrepreneurs.”

Outsiders can reach out to GE through the company’s venture group or what’s called the Submitted Ideas Operation.

Venture Capital: General Electric has two in-house VC units, focused on energy and health care, and competition is fierce.

The energy group, part of GE Energy Financial Services, reviews about 1,000 business plans a year, according to Alhart, and invested in only 22 companies over the past four years. But those investments are significant. For example, between 2006 and 2008, the company put $30 million in battery-technology maker A123 Systems(AONE), which went public last fall.

The latest venture effort is the Healthymagination Fund, which sports a silly name but deep pockets. Launched last fall, the $250 million equity fund focuses on entrepreneurial efforts in broad-based diagnostics, health-care information technology and life sciences. The Healthymagination fund is overseen by the senior officials in the company’s Global Research, Healthcare and Capital divisions.

“We keep a very close eye on emerging technologies and try to connect with companies where there is a mutual benefit for technology development and growth of our respective businesses,” Alhart says.

Entrepreneurs seeking funding should submit a proposal with a revenue model, historical and projected financials, expected use of funds and management background as well as, importantly, a description of how their startup fits in with a specific product or service from GE Healthcare. Initial inquiries should be sent to healthymaginationfund@ge.com.


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