TiEcon 2013

I am quoting from the email received. Pretty impressive stats. Excited to be part of it all.

 Highlights of TiEcon 2013

  • Over 3,000 registered attendees from over 30 countries are expected to attend the event.
  • The conference features over 220 speakers that include renowned CEOs, Entrepreneurs, VCs, and other CXOs of leading companies.
  • Expo Hall: The TiEcon Expo showcases leading edge products and services from startups and large technology companies. The Expo features over 140 exhibitors from countries as far away as Belgium, Brazil, India, Japan and Hong Kong.
  • TiE50 Awards: TiE50 has selected the Top100 global finalists and now the competition is on to pick the prestigious TiE50 Winners. Not only will it inspire entrepreneurs but will showcase many opportunities for investors. Presentations will be held in Room 201 all day Friday and are open to all attendees.
  • Lightning Round Winners: Our content advisory teams have selected 18 of the hottest startups in Big Data, Mobility and SDI. Be sure to check their presentations right after track keynotes on Friday

Networking at TiEcon 2013

TiEconnect: TiEcon offers many opportunities for networking and connecting with various attendees, co-founders and mentors. There are many informal networking opportunities at TiEcon but here is a list of the more formal networking events:

§  MentorConnect: An opportunity to spend quality time with successful entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and other movers and shakers. Entrance only open to attendees who pre-registered for MentorConnect. MentorConnect will be held in Rooms G & H on May 17th and 18th at lunch time.

§  FounderConnect: An opportunity to find co-founder for your startup. Pre registration is recommended. FounderConnect will be held in Room 209 on May 17th and 18th at lunch time.

A lot more coming up over the next couple of days.

TiE Unconference in Chennai

You are an entrepreneur or trying to start a company. You have some ideas and even built a prototype. You want to talk to a few fellow entrepreneurs.

You are a professional working on some cool technology. You want to share some of your ideas on how to use/leverage this technology.

You have questions about some emerging trends. Is this space worth getting into? What are the risks? Are there any one out there doing this?

You want to know a bit about marketing. How do I go about finding a certain type of customer? How do I get my first customers?

You may be a successful startup but have questions about scaling your business. Find some meontors, coaches or just exchange notes with people who have done it before.

Many of us have these questions. We want to meet, discuss, comment, gather information and learn from others. We are willing to share what we know. Where do you go?

This is the goal of TiE Chennai Unconference.

We are trying a few experiments during this event. The success, of course, depends on you. If you are a professional or an entrepreneur, we would love to see you there.

1. We are putting together a panel of experts in scaling a business from a few people to a few hundred. You can bring your questions on finding, keeping, growing customers to this panel. It will be entirely audience driven.

2. Most of our sessions will be discussions. You can ask questions, share bits of knowledge and expertise and watch others do the same. Here is a place to find individuals you want to connect with and keep in touch even after the conference.

3. You have done an amazing job of telling us what you would like to talk about.  So as a group we know what we are going to discuss most. Here is the latest topic cloud in case you have not seen it before.

You are encouraged to come and  participate and tell a few friends who may benefit. We are really looking forward to this event. See you on 18th Sep.

Seven Ways You Can Help a Startup

I keep meeting people in the startup community. They share one attribute – passion. Some of them have great ideas and others not so great. Some of them are good at  building their products and others are still trying to figure out how to implement their ideas or build concept prototypes. Some of them are looking for partners and others are looking for some kind of funding. Most of them can use some guidance from more experienced people.

Why should you help a startup? Think about it for a minute. If you want to help some one at all, whom would you pick?Two types of people come to my mind – students and startups. I will cover helping students in a different post later. Here is a small checklist on how you can help a startup.

  1. Talk to them. Ask them what they do. If you are a potential user/customer of their product or service, wear a customer hat and ask them questions.  This costs you very little. Depending on your level of interest and time, you may meet one startup a week or one a month. You don’t know how to get hold of startups? Leave a comment here on this blog and I will send you a list of resources.
  2. Become a guide. If you are expert marketing person, teach a tech startup how to market their products/services. Guide them on how to find their first few customers. If you are an expert in selling, share a few tips with them. If you are a designer or  programmer, you can offer to review and make suggestions.
  3. Become a beta tester. You may need to spend only a few minutes a day or an hour or two a week. Helping them test an initial product and pointing out areas where things are not very clear is a great help. Be a part of their evolution.
  4. Become an early adopter. Many startups struggle to find initial customers. They provide their service for a discount or even free in exchange for being a referral. If you can use their product or service, this may be one of the best ways of helping them.
  5. Become a part-time coach. This is the amplification of “becoming a guide”. A coach can actually provide a service for a price. Just make sure that it is something they can afford. Pick an area where you can help them effortlessly.
  6. Help them raise or earn  money. If you really, really like the startup team and have some faith in their offering, help them raise some money. If you don’t want to invest or do not have any friends interested in investing, then give them some consulting jobs so that they can earn money. Most of the software companies are bootstrapped (self funded through personal money or consulting assignments).
  7. Become a mentor. If you are a successful entrepreneur, you probably have a lot of things many startups can learn from. Find a couple of them and share your experience.

There may be many other ways of helping startups. If you have ideas, share them in the comments section.

All of us  have a responsibility to encourage and help entrepreneurs. It is not the job of few isolated angel investors, incubators and VCs. Entrepreneurs provide employment, create wealth, provided much needed products and services. Helping them may be one of those random acts of kindness. You will not regret spending time with these energetic souls. It is my new found hobby and I am enjoying it thoroughly.