These days, all you ever hear about are economic stimulus packages. Each day seems to bring a new one and to be honest with you, most leave me scratching my head, wondering what — if anything — we’re getting for our money. I understand the need to prop up our financial institutions and save homeowners from losing everything, but that’s just a short-term fix. For long-term survival, shouldn’t we be investing a sizable portion of this stimulus money in companies that can actually design and manufacture stuff, stuff that other people can buy? Maybe that’s just the engineer in me talking, but it makes perfect sense to me. Apparently it makes perfect sense to Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) manufacturer, NVIDIA Corporation, too.

Although they’re not calling it a stimulus package, NVIDIA just announced the launch of a new investment initiative designed to provide much-needed venture capital to start-ups and young companies developing GPU-based platforms and technology. Called the GPU Ventures Program, it will provide NVIDIA with a way to evaluate companies working with GPU technology in areas such as 3D visualization and interfaces, video and image enhancement, scientific research, and financial analysis, and provide them with funding as well as technical, business, and marketing support. According to NVIDIA, financial aid can range anywhere from $500K to $5 Million, and all it takes to qualify for consideration is a good business plan built around developing and bringing GPU-based technology to market.

If you’d like more information about the program, NVIDIA has set up a special Web site , or you can email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Like all of the other stimulus packages floating around out there, how well this one will work remains to be seen. But at least it’s not hard to figure out what they’re trying to accomplish. If nothing else, it might be fun for a change to use one of NVIDIA’s GPUs to try to model a black hole instead of simply watching your money get poured into one.