AI is central theme of much-awaited TiEcon 2024 , Jensen Huang leads speakers’ list

Surbhi Kaul, Co-Convenor, TiEcon 2024

Ritu Jha–

The IndUS Entrepreneurs Conference (TiEcon) 2024 will be a deep dive into Artificial Intelligence (AI), organizers said. The conference theme is ‘AI Ubiquity: Envision the Future’ and it will feature some of the most prominent names in AI and associated technologies, including Nvidia Founder and CEO Jensen Huang. The much-awaited annual conference since 1992 will be held at Santa Clara Convention center in Milpitas, California from May 1 to May 3.

indica spoke with TiEcon 2024 conference co-conveners Sandeep Bhat and Surabhi Kaul on the significance of the theme and what to expect at the event.

“AI is the biggest news out there,” Bhat told indica. “Especially with OpenAI, and the subsequent moves by all the big players. OpenAI made it clear to everybody what the potential is.”

Bhat said OpenAI is an inflection point in the technology industry. “This is in the same league as the birth of the Internet. The operating systems, the Internet, and now this AI, are of that level of magnitude. So, it made sense for us to zero in on that. We are looking at it from the lens of how AI will disrupt industry tracks, from manufacturing to pure AI tracks and everything in between.”

Sandeep Bhat, Co-Convenor, TieCON 2024

TiEcon 2024 will host five tracks, with the highlights being boot camps by Google and Nvidia. “We have got a lot to offer to both the professionals and entrepreneurs.”

Bhat is with TiE Silicon Valley since 2020, and has been involved in a couple of successful conferences so far. He said, TiE is a testament to Silicon Valley culture that brings folks together. We put together TiECon because it lets us give back. We have hundreds of startups wanting to participate and listen from the experts. This is our way of connecting venture capital with the startups.”

Participation in TiECon has been largely been Indian but this time around the organization is hoping to change that. “The president of TiE Silicon Valley and I have reached out to other communities and encouraged their participation,” Bhat said. “We hope to see a jump in that direction this time. TiE is looking to draw people from diverse backgrounds so that they are more representative of the technology community.”

Apart from Nvidia’s Huang, the TiECON 20204 will feature

  • Jay Chaudhry, Founder and CEO, Zscaler
  • Priya Abani, CEO, ALIVECO
  • Maria Fernandez, PARTNER, MCKINSEY & COMPANY
  • Shubada Hebbar, HEAD OF PRODUCT, GOOGLE
  • Pradeep Khosla, CHANCELLOR, UC SAN DIEGO

For the full list of speakers, click here.

Some of the speakers at TiEcon 2024

Bhat said TiEcon 2024 will enrich everyone who participates. “There is a lot of curiosity around AI and we’ve got Google and Nvidia to do a deep dive on some of the topics. The boot camps will be worth a lot of money outside of TiECon. Here, these are being offered to attendees and participants who subscribe to these boot camps. It’s a unique opportunity to make a real impact.”

Surabhi Kaul, TiEcon 2024 co-convener said the event theme was her idea. Kaul told indica, “Our core team said it had to be AI. Since ChatGPT happened in November 2022, everybody is convinced there will be major changes and shifts in how we work, and live. It’s important to address that, and how every vertical, area, and job is getting impacted. There’s also a little trepidation among people. A lot of people ask, will I lose my job? So, it’s important to have these conversations and be transparent.”

She added, “We are looking at a lot of areas — cloud, security, health tech, retail — that are being impacted. In the conference, we will explore how AI will enhance these verticals. In the Nvidia and Google boot camps, the companies will train our attendees on the technologies
they are building, that is, the AI capabilities that are needed to future-proof our jobs. It’s not just about having conversations but also training, coaching, and guiding people in AI careers.”

She said with TiE Silicon Valley president Anita Manwani at the helm, it’s helping more women get involved in more conversations. “When Anita asked me to be a co-convener, I thought having a woman as a co-convener would be wonderful because now you can show that we are truly building an equitable environment where women feel empowered,” Kaul said.

Kaul wants every panel to have a woman speaker. “I want a woman to give a keynote. We are working on that. It’s a challenge because even with the best intentions, there are very few women CEOs in tech. Jensen Huang is a crowd-puller, and so is Jay Chaudhary. We also have Nikesh Arora from Palo Alto Networks as a keynote speaker. I would be happy if we had more women keynote speakers.”

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