NVIDIA Corporation, inventor of the GPU, today announced the launch of the GPU Ventures Program, a new global initiative whose aim is to identify, support and invest in early stage companies leveraging the GPU for visual and other computing applications. NVIDIA is also launching the GPU Venture Zone website, a portal to publicly showcase the innovative GPU applications being developed by its ecosystem partners.
“The GPU Ventures Program represents a huge opportunity for young ambitious companies basing their businesses around the GPU. These companies are the innovators that will fuel the continued growth of the GPU platform,” said Jeff Herbst, vice president of business development at NVIDIA. “Through this program we will provide financial, marketing and other support to help start-up companies realize their full potential and we strongly encourage interested entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and others to reach out to us with their ideas.”
Through the GPU Ventures Program, NVIDIA intends to evaluate companies that leverage the GPU for both consumer and professional applications in all areas such as video and image enhancement, scientific discovery, financial analysis and 3D interfaces. Investments are expected to range from $500K to $5Million, and strategic partnerships are expected to span joint marketing, joint development, product distribution and beyond.
“NVIDIA’s support, through investment, strategic partnership and joint marketing, has helped us to raise additional capital and gain customer visibility much more quickly,” said Sam Blackman, CEO of Elemental Technologies. “We share NVIDIA’s passion for using the GPU as a parallel processor, for more than just graphics, and we actively encourage other companies interested in this exciting market to join the visual computing ecosystem.” In addition to Elemental Technologies, NVIDIA has also invested in successful start ups including Acceleware, Keyhole Corporation (acquired by Google for Google Earth), Mental Images (acquired by NVIDIA), MotionDSP and Right Hemisphere. These companies were among 60 other start-ups that met with key figures in the investment and technical community at NVIDIA’s 2008 Emerging Companies Summit, due to take place again in the Fall of 2009.
“NVIDIA’s first annual Emerging Companies Summit was a world class event , perhaps the best and most informative private company showcase in 2008” said Drew Lanza, general partner at Morgenthaler Ventures. “We view parallel computing on the GPU as an exciting and disruptive growth opportunity for our existing and future portfolio companies, and we applaud NVIDIA’s efforts to support this ecosystem through its new GPU Ventures Program and other related initiatives.”