Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, top space and ML scientists to speak at TiEcon Youth

Ritu Jha-

The annual conference of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiEcon), a signature event of the TiE Silicon Valley chapter, is a tryst for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, lawyers, CXOs as well as youth.

Set up in 2012, TiE Youth has a special place at TiEcon and has been gaining attention from children who aspire to be entrepreneurs or are simply curious to know what achievers have to say.

Reena Gupta

“This year’s TiE Youth theme is ‘Explore, Learn and Grow’,” Reena Gupta, one of the TiEcon youth track chairs, told indica on the phone. The other two chairs are Shashi Jain and Ravi Puli.

This year, TiEcon is scheduled for May 5 through May 7. The youth conference is set for the final day when the conference chairs have succeeded in bringing speakers from both the U.S. and India.

“Earlier there used to be one youth track at TiEcon, but this year it has been divided into sub-tracks,” Gupta, author and founder-CEO of Mom Relaunch, said.

The sub-tracks will focus on the Future of Education, Media Infotainment, Space, Gaming and Sports, and the Circular Economy. Among the speakers lined up are Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, creators of Elon Musk Ad Astra School (Synthesis) at SpaceX, and renowned educators like Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai and Richard Dasher.

NASA astrophysicist Dr Madhulika Guhathakurta is one of the speakers along with Eric Ingram, founder and CEO of Scout Inc, Brad Neuberg, staff machine learning engineer with Planet, Robert Jacobsen from Space Advisors, and Daniel Faber, founder and CEO at Orbit Fab.

Sowmya Venkatesh, 14, a ninth-grader at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California, volunteering at the Space sub-track, was excited.“My dream is to work in the space industry and expand the horizons of human knowledge and travel,” Venkatesh said. “Being part of TiEcon gave me the opportunity to showcase this exciting field that I am looking to get into.”

Explaining the Circular Economy track, Reena Gupta said, “We are bringing people to talk about what youth can be doing to get involved. In the main keynote, we have Michael Guimarin, from Synthesis Marketing, a company inspired by Musk which challenges young critical thinkers through simulation games.”

The Future of Education sub-track will focus on what universities of the future will look like and how the current system actually works more as an examination system. In the Media and Entertainment sub-track, New York University Professor Andrew Goldman will talk about ideas from ‘pitch to production’.

Another Amador Valley High student, Ritika Gupta, 15, a 10th grader is chair for the Media Infotainment sub-track, said she has invited NYU professor Andrew Goldman as a speaker. He will be her professor this summer when she attends NYU’s pre-college program for film, and building a good relationship and making an impression was “super helpful”.

“Also, my goal is to be a film director and producer, so talking to people in the industry I am aiming to be in is helping me grow my connections and learn from them,” she said.

Srinidhi Gubba , 17, an 11th grader at Westview High School in Portland, Oregon, and youth co-chair at the Circular Economy track, said the conference is a great opportunity to learn how youth can lead innovation to impact the world.

“I got to learn how companies are using collaboration and renewable resources to reduce carbon emissions,” she said. “Through this experience, I feel empowered to lead sustainable change and the experienced speakers in each track can inspire us to make a difference in a variety of fields.”

Reena Gupta added, “This kind of work has not been done in the youth track before and I wanted students not just to come and listen but to be more engaged.”