Comcast has always been driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. Our founder, Ralph Roberts, was the ultimate entrepreneur, establishing the company with a small cable system in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1963. As the company has grown into a global leader in media and technology, Comcast’s entrepreneurial spirit lives on in all of the employees across the company that are inventing new apps, better ways to improve the customer experience and new ways to watch television. We are so excited to bring that spirit to our nation’s capital today as one of the presenting companies at the first-ever Open for Innovation Day at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
The day will feature a SwitchPitch, which is a role-reversal event where established companies pitch funded innovation projects to qualified startups looking for great partners. As part of our continued effort to seek out new and innovative ways to improve the customer experience, we’ve challenged the more than 50 start-ups gathered here today to create an app that would help both our customers and technicians optimize the placement of their in-home Wi-Fi router to guarantee the best Wi-Fi performance possible.
We offer the industry’s fastest in-home Wi-Fi experience and, since Wi-Fi has become the primary way people get online, we want to ensure our customers have the best experience with every upload, download, post and stream. We’re committed to continually improving the user experience and we’ve identified a number of ways customers can optimize their Wi-Fi experience in their own homes. To help us further enhance the in-home experience, we are excited to harness the creativity of these talented start-ups to develop a new Wi-Fi optimization app in order to provide an easy way for our customers to guarantee they are getting the most out of their home Internet.
Tech innovation, like we’re seeing at today’s event, is an important way we’re working to redefine the customer experience. A Wi-Fi optimization app would join other new features like Co-Pilot and Tech Tracker that are all part of our efforts to be more open and transparent with our customers to improve our customer service.
Comcast was a startup just over 50 years ago and now we are working to help the next generation of entrepreneurs. In addition to supporting events like the Open for Innovation Day, we also have our own venture capital arm, Comcast Ventures, which invests in innovative businesses that represent the next generation of entertainment, communications and digital technology. Recognizing that less than 1% of venture capital goes to underrepresented minority-founded start-ups each year, we developed the $20 million Catalyst Fund designed to create opportunities for minority entrepreneurs to build their business with Comcast’s support. In addition to our commitment to minority-owned start-up companies we are also particularly proud of our investments in female and veteran-led start-ups. You can learn more about the ways that we support entrepreneurs in the infographic below.
We’re committed to bringing our customers the best and fastest Internet experience and we’re excited to see what the teams come up with today to help us further this goal.