The winners of the TiE50 startup idea contest got to pitch to Timothy Cook Draper, the storied American venture capitalist who stars in the Meet the Drapers reality show, at the TiECon 2020 virtual conference held September 2.
TiE50, one of the signature events of TiE Silicon Valley’s annual entrepreneurship conference, TiEcon, selected 10 startup ideas to pitch to Draper, whose prominent investments include Tesla and Twitter to name just two.
The best three among the top 10 of TiE50 would be invited to present on Season 4 of the legendary venture capitalist’s TV show, in which the Draper family meets the world’s hottest new entrepreneurs, on the hunt for the next billion dollar idea, and viewers get to decide the next big idea in tech.
Along with Draper, Prashanth Shah of Monta Vista Capital was among the judges.
Draper seemed impressed by the variety of ideas for startups, ranging from security to health care to agriculture.
“These are a bit higher quality and some are unique enough…it feels like this is going to be a great to have a long-term partnership,” he said.
TiE50 chair Kamal Anand did not say how many applications they received this year but sources said there were more than 2,000.
“We had a very diverse set of applicants from 10 countries — from those building satellite launch vehicles, to helping Parkinson’s patients, to a global Queer network for LGBTQ audiences, to building digital IoT sprinklers, to an edutainment company teaching AI and Robotics to children,” Anand told indica News.
He said that the partnership between TiE50 and Meet The Drapers this year was very exciting and fruitful, both for the companies and for the show.
“Ten companies, from four countries, presented to Tim Draper, and it was very gratifying to see the diversity of innovation and passion of these incredible entrepreneurs,” Anand said.
One of the TiE50 winners was Ajay Jotwani, co-founder & CEO of i2Chain, a San Francisco startup that delivers secure and privacy-compliant clouds, folders, and files or classified information with co-processors as well as encrypts documents to make them tamper-proof.
Thanking Anand on selecting i2Chain and giving an opportunity to present to Draper and Shah, Jotwani said: “Draper’s resounding feedback to i2Chain that echoed the sentiment of privacy of folders on clouds and endpoints is of high value to corporates.”
What Draper said was that “for i2Chain, SaaS application and privacy of the folders is something the corporates are going to care about.”
Jotwani quoted Draper as saying that the quality of companies at TiE50 were among the best — “quite a bit higher bit quality than what you see at YC and maybe equivalent somewhat to Boost.”
Draper, Jotwani said, “is sharp and a very keen listener. I think we delivered to our plans and hope to make the cut for Season 4 of Meet the Drapers.”
Another TiE 50 winner was Clocr founder Sree Chintala. Clocr is a blockchain-powered, legacy-planning platform for digital assets that offers a “super-secure, hacker deterrent” cloud locker and digital estate disbursement features, all under one roof.
“We had great time presenting to Mr Draper and we cherish his comments about Clocr solving a very interesting problem,” Chintala told indica News.“We plan to launch Clocr in India before the end of the year and have started scouting for marketing outlets.”
Chintala is a serial entrepreneur. “My iPhone apps back in 2011 made it to TiE50,” he said.
Australia-based Vinay Samuel, founder and CEO of Zetaris, was among the 10 who pitched to Draper and Shah.
“Zetaris was born to solve this massive cost and efficiency problem in data projects,” Samuel said. “The solution is to create a multi-tiered single view of all the organization’s data without having to physically consolidate or migrate every data source to a central data store.”
Pitching to Draper, he said, “was an intense but rewarding experience, and his questions showed a quick understanding of our technology and its disruptive implications. I believe the recognition we have received from TiEcon and from such a legendary venture capitalist will only accelerate Zetaris’s growth trajectory.”
Chennai-based Srinath Ravichandran, founder of Agnikul, pitched about building rockets that can take small satellites to orbit on-demand.
It was an amazing experience. Presenting to Tim Draper made it extremely exciting and very real,” he said. “Also, there was a global audience for the pitch. So, it doesn’t get better than this to get the word out about Agnikul.”
The other companies that got to pitch to Draper and Shah and have a chance at the top three are Steadiwear Inc; Sentry AI; Quest.ai; LSK Technologies Inc; Irrigreen; and Infinilytics.