CERRITOS, CA - TiECON Southwest 2014 opened on November 8 to a packed ballroom of over 500 attendees at the Sheraton here. The event was kicked off by Harina Kapoor and Smita Bagla, TiECON Co-chairs. TiE SoCal President, Toni DasGupta delivered the Chapter report relating the significant
Keynote speaker Umang Gupta, CEO of Keynote Systems, delivered a powerful speech on his entrepreneurial journey culminating in his many successes. Umang provided an honest account of some of his ventures which proved challenging, and provided the entrepreneurs in the audience clear and concise takeaways based upon his experience.
Manu Shah, CEO of MS International and Amar Shokeen President of RJT Compuquest, participated in a spirited fireside chat with Navneet Chugh, of Chugh Firm. Manu Shah related his experiences in focusing on an industry that was not in great favor, as a way to distinguish himself and his company’s offerings. Amar Shokeen spoke on leveraging his experience at various blue chip corporations, to build his current corporation. Over the course of the conference, there were two action packed sessions where 16 budding entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to pitch their startups.
Neeraj Bhavani, CEO of Tagnos, led a panel titled “Mindset of the Entrepreneur” which discussed the somewhat spiritual journey of the entrepreneur, answering questions such as - What motivates the entrepreneur to working long hours when there is no short-term monetary reward and even when the long-term reward is uncertain? How do they build these companies when there is no access to resources?
A lively panel on Building a Winning Tech Startup was moderated by Gunjan Bagla, Managing Director of Amritt. The panelists shared great nuggets such as “ If you want advice, ask for money. If you want money, ask for advice”. Panelists agreed that being South Asian could be an advantage when you go to raise money with venture capitalists or angels.
The Media industry panel led by Sushil Tyagi, CEO of Craftbev, and prominent film maker, brought together experts in key parts of production value-chain — from creative to technical to business. The session keynote speaker debunked some of the myths around animation outsourcing and illuminated the pitfalls of the global film production business paradigm. Panelists shared trends, opportunities, and challenges of the industry based on their experience with creative talent, physical production, as well as finance/distribution. Got Funding, a panel led by Tarang Shah, co-founder Bois Capital, described how entrepreneurs can present their companies to VCs and angel investors and addressed the key areas that investors are focusing in. The evening ended with an award ceremony recognizing executive committee members, key volunteers, and start up pitch winners.