Tamil Nadu in focus at TiEcon, Silicon Valley

PRAKASH NARAYAN

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami delivered the closing keynote of Day One at TiEcon 2020, the most awaited entrepreneurship conference of the San Francisco Bay Area, Wednesday.

TiEcon is hosted by TiE Silicon Valley, one of the world’s largest ecosystems for technology professionals, entrepreneurs, tech influencers, domain experts, enterprise executives, venture capitalists, and educators

TiE Global board chairman Mahavir Sharma, in his introduction of the Tamil Nadu chief minister, said Palaniswami knows about entrepreneurship because he was one before joining politics in 1974.

Palaniswami [in picture above] delivered the speech through a pre-recorded video. He spoke about his visit to Silicon Valley in September 2019, and drew parallels with the Bay Area and Chennai.

He said that as one of the top three states in India and with its focus on innovation and infrastructure, Tamil Nadu is a powerhouse in India’s economic and technical advancement.

He drew a connection between TiE’s mission of connecting entrepreneurs around the world and Tamil Nadu, saying that it is one of leading states for IT in India.

Chennai, he said, has emerged as the SaaS capital of India. He saw synergies with a conference like TiEcon, with its emphasis on technology, being held in Silicon Valley.

Tamil Nadu IT minister RB Udhayakumar

AG Karunakaran, TiE Silicon Valley’s incoming president for 2021, then introduced RB Udhayakumar, minister of IT for Tamil Nadu.

The minister highlighted Tamil Nadu as a technology destination, while also underlining its achievements in agriculture, food processing, transportation, automobile, hardware, and manufacturing.

Udhayakumar said 12,500 villages in Tamil Nadu would be connected via broadband Internet and 5.4 million students in high schools in Tamil Nadu would receive free laptops.

A combination of these two will result in empowering the youth with the latest technologies, he said.

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