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3/10/2009
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Nvidia Launches Investment Fund For GPU Startups

Startups with innovative GPU applications can apply for $500,000 to $5 million to fund joint marketing, development, and product distribution.

Nvidia on Tuesday introduced a fund to invest in startup companies that use graphics processors for visual and other computing applications.

In addition, the graphics chipmaker launched the GPU Venture Zone Web site for showcasing what Nvidia finds to be innovative GPU applications under development.

Through the GPU Ventures program, Nvidia would provide startups with financial help ranging from $500,000 to $5 million for joint marketing, development, product distribution, and more. The chipmaker is particularly interested in companies leveraging the graphics processing unit for consumer or professional applications in areas such as video and image enhancement, scientific research, financial analysis, and 3-D interfaces.

Among the companies Nvidia has invested in is Elemental Technologies, a 3-year-old Portland, Ore., company building a video processing platform. "Nvidia's support, through investment, strategic partnership, and joint marketing, has helped us to raise additional capital and gain customer visibility much more quickly," Sam Blackman, chief executive of Elemental Technologies, said in a statement.

Other companies that have received money and support from Nvidia in the past include Acceleware; Keyhole, which was acquired by Google; Mental Images, acquired by Nvidia; MotionDSP; and Right Hemisphere. These companies were featured in Nvidia's Emerging Companies Summit in 2008, which is scheduled to take place again in fall 2009.

Companies interested in applying for Nvidia funding should arrange to submit a business plan by sending an e-mail to gpuventures@nvidia.com. More information is also available on the GPU Venture Zone Web site.

Nvidia is launching the investment fund at a time when the company has suffered losses in the global economic recession. The company in February reported a loss of $147.7 million in the quarter ended Jan. 27, as revenue fell to $481.1 million from $1.2 billion in the same period a year ago. Nvidia's earnings fell below Wall Street analysts' estimates.


Each year, InformationWeek honors the nation's 500 most innovative users of business technology. Companies with $250 million or more in revenue are invited to apply for the 2009 InformationWeek 500 before May 1.

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