When more than 550 entrepreneurs attend the same event, it most likely is the one called TiECON East, the largest entrepreneurial conference in the world. This was my first time attending and after two incredible, jammed packed days, I can say this event is unique. If you've never attended, get on the mailing list and make a point of being there next year.
TiE, a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs and professionals, was founded in 1992 in California during a chance meeting of a handful of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs with roots in India. Although its birth name, The Indus Entrepreneurs, signifies the Indus roots of the founders, TiE, these days, stands for Talent, Ideas and Enterprise. And in Boston, their mission is clearly all about fostering entrepreneurship, Beyond Boundaries – Breaking Boundaries – the 2014 theme!
Here are some standouts from the two day event that included a comprehensive startup bootcamp:
The first ever Leader Bank TiE Sharks- sank their teeth into five startups – tough questions – but funded over $100k for two businesses and when a lopsided deal was offered – audience members jumped up to demand better terms-and in fact, in the end three members of the audience countered those terms and added additional funding. Congrats Incrementstudios.com
Roger Marino, co-founder of EMC generously shared experience,business tips and his time. From EMC lunch and learn, we heard about the new evolving position and large need for DATA SCIENTISTS and learned that most think it is easier to take a business person and teach the business value of the analytics than retrain an IT person.
New to me was the TiE Power Lunch, which consisted of a unique sign up list in which you could choose your conversation topic and leader. There was quite a range of topics.
Coming from a sales and marketing background, I truly enjoyed the session entitled "Sell Baby Sell" moderated by MIT's Bill Aulet and including Mike Troiano and Peter Lamson on the panel. Kevin Haverty talked about how much easier it is to scale up by being local everywhere than using a traditional hub and spoke operation. And while it was surprising a panel of just "old white guys" (noted Bill Aulet), the audience and panel agreed that tech has changed but people have not. The standards of 100 suspects, to 10 prospects to one closed order still exist and as long as carbon based life forms exist, they (people) will buy from people.
A very special visit and talk came from the US Representative from Hawaii and the first Hindu Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard. First elected at age 21 in a five way race, she dares to ask in the hallowed halls of congress – "what are we accomplishing" while she reaches across the aisle and Co-Founded The Future Caucus. She is classy, passionate and principled by her Indian culture & teachings of The Bhagavad-Gita and she continues to be motivated today by its call to selfless action.
Here are my takeaways:
Staying steady and focused, you can go from selling coconuts to making more than a penny on every Charlie Card transaction as does Ganapathi S. Founder and CEO of Terminal Exchange Systems.
Asking for support from TiE Boston in 2002 as Leader Bank CEO and President Sushil Tuli did, can land you in the giving back role sponsoring the first ever TiE Sharks event just 12 successful years later.
The basics of good manners and a culturally rich upbringing and nurturing does create some simple rules for success:
Give back, what you can, when you can – as others have done for you
Share your best- always
Start young and encourage everyone.
And certainly, the Indus Community spiritual call to selfless action and helping others makes for a rich and rewarding life.
There is power and unstoppable energy in a team that includes these folks.
Congratulations to all that made this event happen.