Decades dedicated to social transformation during the 1960s and ’70s were followed by an era of technological transformation during the ’80s and ’90s. We are currently witnessing economic transformation with the ‘New Face of Entrepreneurship,’ also the theme of TiEcon 2007. We are likely to see entrepreneurs who are far more diverse with respect to their age, origin, and gender, catering to a new generation of a billion consumers world-wide over the next ten years.

TiEcon 2007 focuses on this changing landscape of entrepreneurship. Various panel discussions will address these dynamic changes, and there will be learning, networking, and partnering opportuniTiEs on two action-packed days, May 18 and 19.

Globalization has emerged as a consistent focus for most business ventures. “Keynote speakers for this year’s TiEcon are experienced executives who have done a brilliant job of building companies which have become household names globally,” says Vish Mishra, senior partner, Clearstone Ventures.

Noboyuki Idei, chairman of the advisory board, Sony Corp., will deliver a keynote address on the opening day. Meg Whitman, President and CEO, eBay, and Mark Benioff, Chairman and CEO,, will deliver keynote addresses the following day. Whitman, a powerful leader, leads eBay an unparalleled ecommerce and communications engine for entrepreneurs around the world, while Benioff’s has pioneered a way of selling software as service applications.

Panel discussions will put the spotlight on emerging business trends. Hari Sreenivasan, news anchor for a CBS-affiliated news station will moderate the panel on Social Entrepreneurship featuring Matt Flannery of Kiva, Priya Haji from World of Good, and Balaji Sampath from AID India. TiEcon 2007 has made a concerted effort to feature emerging trends in the life sciences industry with “a keynote event, a distinguished speaker event, two panels and a networking luncheon,” says Sanjay Shrivastava, R&D Manager, Abbott, and content team volunteer for TiEcon. The panel discussion, New fronTiErs of entrepreneurship will look into “micro-financing, clean tech, and other health-related fields,” says Deepak Bhagat, CEO, Vikroon Systems and content co-chair for TiEcon.

Concurrent sessions that are on the roster reflect the overall goals of TiE to feature topics that are relevant and forward-looking. A session titled Turn in your badge to work in your garage, moderated by Gwen Edwards may inspire some to define and shape their vision. Other sessions like How to raise your seed round and Venture funding in India, China, and the Pacific Rim will likely spur some early-stage entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses globally.

TiEcon 2007 will also be enriched by the contributions of distinguished speakers, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, and Matt Cohler of Facebook. Tero Ojanpera from Nokia which is leading the world in global wireless technology, and Takesh Natsuno from DoCoMo which is offering next generation triple play —video, voice, and data services will also be present to share their experiences.

TiEcon will continue E-Bazaar which was introduced last year, and is again expected to be a great success. Entrepreneurs will be pre-screened, coached by charter members, and appropriately matched with experts based on their specific requests.

TiE Global Exchange is a new event introduced this year and shows the true spirit of TiE in advancing entrepreneurship world-wide. A special country track will enable sponsoring countries to feature their government’s business and trade policies, and demonstrating their commitment to entrepreneurship while enabling them to learn from Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Mishra has been involved with TiE and past TiEcons since their inception and is serving as its “grand advisor,” helping find appropriate keynote speakers and volunteers. This year’s TiEcon as in the past, is completely conceived, designed, produced, and run by volunteers. According to Mishra, this may be perhaps the only conference of this magnitude orchestrated by a large body of volunteers. Over 400 volunteers come together months before the conference to work on various committees to design the content, invite speakers, do marketing and outreach, find sponsors, handle logistics, and more. While giving back to the community, they develop leadership and interpersonal skills, getting a golden opportunity to learn; they take away a rich Rolodex of contacts and build enduring friendships. “If there is only one conference you will go to this year, this should be the one,” says Mishra emphatically.

Friday, May 18, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 7:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara. For full schedule and registration,

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 36-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...