May 24, 2007

TiECon 2007 Conference

Last weekend I spoke at a panel at the TiECon conference in Santa Clara, CA. The topic was Web 2.0 - Redefining How We Live and Socialize Online and Offline. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is one of the most successful networks of entrepreneurs globally. Started in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region (South Asia), the organization has grown to over 12,000 members in 45 chapters across 10 countries. Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education. I've been involved with TiE for over 10 years now.

TiECon, the annual event of TiE's founding chapter in Silicon Valley, has evolved to become TiE's most important networking event for technologists, investors and entrepreneurs from around the world. About 4,000 people attended this year's event. Keynote speakers included Nobuyuki Idei, Chief Corp. Advisor & Ex-CEO, Sony Corp; Meg Whitman, President & CEO, eBay; Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO,; Vinod Khosla, venture capitalist (Khosla Ventures) and founding ex-CEO of Sun Microsystems; Tim O’Reilly, Web 2.0 thinker; among several others.

Talking to Nobuyuki Idei during the conference, he feels that Japan's aging and closed society critically needs an organization like TiE to spur openness and entrepreneurship in the country.

The theme for TiECon 2007 was "The New Face of Entrepreneurship." Fittingly, one of the attractions on the floor was Anshul Sharma, the 13-year old founder and CEO of Elementeo, a Silicon Valley gaming startup that aims to introduce fun and excitement into kids' education through games (instead of boring textbooks). Here is the video of Anshul confidently touting his new fantasy role playing board game to learn chemistry: