Gateway To Expand Leasing Program To Startups



In a one-two punch to extend its market share in the business sector and reap the rewards of high-potential startups, Gateway Inc. says it will expand its leasing program to include new Internet companies, relaxing the requirements normally needed for leasing and financing agreements.

With the E-Business Accelerator Leasing program, Gateway will provide hardware, networking, and training to new companies during a period of one to five years. Application service provider eLease Financial Services Inc. will administer billing, collection, taxation, and other infrastructure-support services.

But only those with good credit need apply for the program. Gateway will analyze the financing and executive teams to determine which companies are qualified. In turn, Gateway could receive a stake in some of the companies, though Tony Montemurro, senior manager of Gateway's business finance program, would only report that such agreements "would be between the Internet companies and executives at Gateway."

The E-business Accelerator Leasing program is part of Gateway's effort to shift its focus to small and medium-sized businesses and to ramp up its business unit. The computer maker recently reported disappointing results in its strategies for commercial business.

"I'd admit it's risky," says Jimmy Johnson, an analyst with A.G. Edwards & Sons. "But looking at their competition already active in investing in venture capital, it gives Gateway more stake in the up and coming."

--Elisabeth Goodridge

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