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For over 20 years, TiEcon has showcased some of the most successful companies around the world and brought together the entire ecosystem of entrepreneurship including venture capitalists, thought leaders, successful entrepreneurs as well as aspiring entrepreneurs,” says Venktesh Shukla, President of TiE Silicon Valley. TiE started at a 1992 lunch meeting in Silicon Valley, and now hosts 60 chapters in 17 different countries. Its annual flagship conference, TiEcon, attracted 3600 participants from over 50 countries last year. “TiEcon 2014 is centered around phenomenal speakers and a strong technical agenda…it’s also a chance to speak face-to-face with successful entrepreneurs,” says BV Jagadeesh, TiEcon Co-Convener and Managing Partner of KAAJ Ventures.
“I believe 2014 is going to be a defining year…cloud architectures [will] go from experimentation to deployment and when big data goes from promise to production. The entrepreneurs at TiEcon will likely have a large impact on how these innovations develop,” says Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat.
The first day of the conference highlights three breaking topics: the internet of things, big data, and cloud infrastructure. “Each of these topics represents billions of dollars in new potential value creation for entrepreneurs,” says Pradip Madan, TiEcon Co-Convener and venture builder in healthcare and the internet of things. In the internet of things, participants will explore the potential to provide meaningful and useful applications through device connection. “After the internet in the mid-90s, I don’t think anything has had the potential to be as big as the internet of things,” opines Jagadeesh. Big data, the analysis of large data sets to inform business decisions, promises to create incredible responsivity to the customer. Cloud infrastructure, or companies’ ability to use and share infrastructure when needed, “creates tremendous flexibility in scaling” says Jagadeesh.
The biggest draw of TiEcon is its speakers. “IBM announced plans to invest $1B in a new business dedicated to building out the Watson ecosystem…Manoj Saxena, now Managing Director at The Entrepreneur’s Fund and most recently IBM’s Watson Division Head, will engage Mike Rhodin, IBM’s Senior Vice President for Watson, in a discussion on opportunities in cognitive computing,” explains Madan. Romesh Wadhwani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the Symphony Technology Group “reflects a force of vision and persistence that will set a strong example for TiEcon attendees,” says Madan. Shahid Khan, President and Owner of Flex-N-Gate as well as owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, will discuss how entrepreneurship extends beyond the high-tech ecosystem. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Bollywood Producer, will talk about inspiration in producing Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. “Competing as an athletic champion requires the same determination as succeeding as an entrepreneur,” concludes Madan.
The second day of TiEcon focuses on personal growth. “Each of the keynote speakers brought sustained vision, courage, charisma, and determination to their work. Understanding their views is what complements a tech entrepreneur’s training,” explains Madan.
Second day conference topics include healthcare, youth, entrepreneurship, technology services, energy, and impact investing while participants hear about the successes and challenges of experienced entrepreneurs. “Time is of the essence; participants can learn from ‘old mistakes’ to move forward rapidly,” says Jagadeesh. Young startups will bring their innovations to the TiE50 competition and companies will showcase their products and services in Expo booths. “Entrepreneurs looking for co-founders will find them in FounderConnect. Entrepreneurs looking for funding will meet VCs and angel investors in VCConnect. Those looking for mentorship in a specific topic will be able to do so in MentorConnect,” explains Madan.
TiEcon is volunteer-run. “All our volunteers are here for various reasons: networking, brainstorming, meeting founders, and providing mentorship. We’re very excited to give back to the entrepreneurial community” says Jagadeesh. “I hope to bring new perspectives to my work from TiEcon. I am also looking to build new teams and find new partners, and expect to do both,” says Madan. TiEcon 2014 is a high-contact opportunity for all entrepreneurs to connect and learn. “I believe in a flat world of opportunity for every entrepreneur, man, or woman, from any region of the world. I believe that each of us should have the opportunity to maximize our intellectual and social productivity through entrepreneurship. The demographics, scale, and impact of TiEcon flatten the world ever more each year,” concludes Madan.

May 16 and 17, Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. Tickets begin at $225.