TiEcon, the signature annual event of TiE Silicon Valley for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, begins May 6 with the theme, “Emerge. Engage. Elevate.”
Established 29 years ago, TiE Silicon Valley is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and helping to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem under one roof for C-level executives, investors, and entrepreneurs. It has chapters in 61 cities in 18 countries.
This is the second year that the event will be entirely virtual.
TiEcon 2021 has 209 speakers, 10 grand-heavyweight keynote speakers, and 51 sponsors.
“We have actually broken all the records and we have for the first time in a long, long time doubled the sponsorship,” Dipty Desai, TiEcon 2021 co-chair, told indica News.
“I am impressed,” Desai said. “Now we are able to attract people from all over the world who never were able to attend our conference.”
Three things make for a successful conference, she said: “Sponsorship and support to conduct the conference; the conference content which attracts people to the event; and the conference attendees themselves.
“Our goal was 8,000 attendees,” said Desai. “We have already reached 15,000.”
For its keynotes, TiEcon 2021 has iconic figures such as Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group; Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings; Nikesh Arora, CEO and Chairman,Palo Alto Networks; Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq; and Daniel O’Day, chairman and CEO, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
“It takes a village to create such a huge global conference,” said Desai, who has been associated TiE since 2010. “And the secret to this past year of preparation is people working hard in unison collectively with over 100 volunteers working virtually across the world. Further, thanks to the efforts, TiEcon2021 now has 14 ongoing tracks and six entrepreneur programs.”
There are five tracks that will be presented on Friday, May 7, and five more tracks on Saturday, May 8. These tracks will focus on many topics and areas including AI/ML, Cloud and Security, Entrepreneurship, the Future of Work, Global Connectivity, Healthcare Reimagined, TiE Youth, Diversity and Inclusion, a CXO Forum, Social Impacting, TiE 50, an AI Skills Lab, an Author’s Corner, a Startup Bootcamp, Mentor Connect and VC Connect.
“We actually were empowered by the enterprises,” said Desai. “They wanted to support us and increased the tracks from six tracks to 14 tracks. The conference has something for everyone to choose and also has an Expo and networking lounge.
“The Future of Work and Diversity and Inclusion, are two new tracks this year,” said Desai, along with a CXO Forum and Social Impacting Entrepreneurship, as there is now a need for these tracks due to the pandemic.
“We quickly realized, to survive in the new normal you need to evolve and that’s where our whole theme, Emerge, Engage and Elevate, came from,” Desai said. “To Emerge out of the pandemic, to Engage with your audience, and to Elevate your brand you have to transform yourself.”
Expounding about adding the CXO forum, Desai said one of the things that TiE does really well is to connect enterprises to startups.
“Entrepreneurs have two specific needs,” Desai said. “One is they need the capital, and the second is they also need to attract customers to scale up and grow their business.”
“So we bring them (entrepreneurs) to the customers (enterprises) and the CXOs to the startups to fill in the gaps with new innovative solutions,” she said.
On the new Diversity and Inclusion track, Desai said that enterprises now have the budgets and want to increase the number of women on their boards.
“They want to increase the number of women in executive ranks and it’s something happening globally and now has become part of the corporate culture,” she said. “So we see a large number of enterprises are showing they are supporting Diversity and Inclusion.”
Desai said 33 percent of speakers on the various tracks at TiEcon 2021 are women.
“TiE has something for every entrepreneur,” she said.