The Wall Street Journal on November 21 included an insert of the “Innovators Issue”. In it was an article on Jennifer Lopez. She is described as representing the limitless potential of women and how they can work hard, stay focused, multitask and not accept a shelf life.
She is quoted as saying: “I feel powerful and I want to show women how to be powerful”.
It was the perfect set up for “Celebrating Women of Today,” a virtual event of the the American Tamil Entrepreneurs Association (ATEA), later the same morning that featured 14 such women as speakers.
The ATEA and FalconX partnered to hold an in-person event to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8. The global pandemic, however, forced the postponement of that event. It was finally conducted as a virtual event on November 21.
The first panel, moderated by Janaki Kowtha, featured four trailblazers.
The premise of the discussion was that women of today are determined to succeed professionally while remaining true to their priorities.
Janaki steered the conversation to have the panelists talk about how they navigated through the challenges that these women faced in modern day living.
There was also discussion on owning their identity without compromising. Each panelist provided their own unique perspective.
This was followed by the opening keynote by Ana Anbuselvan.
Her talk focused on three areas. The first was on the mission of the Industry 4.0 Foundation – which is to promote, foster and advance the Industry 4.0 revolution across industries and verticals.
The second area is on the paradigm shift in the future of Venture Capital. “Companies should focus on building quality products, sustainable models, have a strong leadership team and think of global presence,” she said.
Finally, she spoke about the use cases for Industry 4.0 – where she touched on the digital transformation in the finance/banking industry. Yet another use case is the digital health industry. From secure medical records to improved patient care, this industry is gaining the most economic value from IOT (Internet of Things).
Chandini Ammineni moderated a VC panel next.
Chandini did an amazing job in getting the panelists to open up on what they look for in a team/startup that they are likely to invest in.
They also talked about their respective paths to becoming a VC. The audience got a glimpse of what happens behind closed doors after an entrepreneur completed their pitch.
“Look for more than just money from a VC. There is a whole network that VCs can open up for you” they said.
The closing keynote was a fireside chat between Preethy Padmanabhan and Erika Cramer.
Preethy navigated the conversation and had Erika talked about how her organization provides training and advocacy for gender diversity in the boardroom and the C-suite.
The passage of SB826 in California that requires a public company to have one woman on its board by 2019 and two to three by 2021 is a huge step.
They are also disrupting the venture landscape in their focus on how women invest. They enable this through movement built and conversation elevating.
They have been successful in launching a $10million early stage venture fund.
Finally, she also talked about how women give. They have been successful in impacting women and girls in the Bay Area through volunteerism and have awarded $500,000 in grants.
The event was emceed by Janaki Kowtha and Priya Bala.
ATEA co-founders Lena Kannappan and Ram Nagappan kicked the session off talking about how 2121 promises to be a breakout year for ATEA.
Between the Digital Accelerator (dax.ateausa.org) and the Govt of Tamil Nadu grants to qualified startups, ATEA is enabling a healthy ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
The sessions can be viewed at http://youtube.ateausa.org