American Tamil Entrepreneurs’ Association to host annual CATEALYZE conference on Sept 23

By Prakash Narayan-

Silicon Valley-based American Tamil Entrepreneurs’ Association (ATEA) is hosting its annual conference CATEALYZE to bring together venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and startups on Saturday, September 23 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The objective is to promote startups.

Lena Kannappan, co-founder, American Tamil Entrepreneurs’ Association (ATEA)

“We are excited to host an international cast of speakers at this conference, which is being held at a venue of historic significance,” Lena Kannappan, co-founder, HealthCare Triangle and co-founder, ATEA, told indica. “The first CATEALYZE event was held in Holmdel, New Jersey in 2022 at the home of Bell Labs. The 2023 conference is structured to deliver empowering sessions, enriching conversations, elevating opportunities and engaging moments for the attendees.”

The daylong conference has lined up successful and seasoned tech executives, he said.

Guru Gowrappan, president, Viasat and former CEO of Yahoo/Verizon media, co-founder of Zynga, former COO of Groupon, and former global managing director at Alibaba Group, will deliver the keynote address as a fireside chat with Indiaspora Founder M. R. Rangaswami.

Guru has been universally acknowledged as a master of setting up and scaling ecosystems across mobile, content, eCommerce, payments, ads, social and gaming.

Guru Gowrappan, president, Viasat
Venky Harinarayan, partner,

(You can register for CATAELYZE23 — to be held on Saturday, Sept. 23rd at Computer History Museum, Mountain View — on Use the code INDICANEWS to get a $150 discount)

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to learn from him how his intense focus on customer experience helped him deliver successful outcomes, regardless of product or demographic.

Rohini Chakravarthy, managing partner, NewBuild VC will moderate a panel discussion on ‘Where are VCs investing these days’. The panel will provide insight into the current state of VC investments, exploring the areas where venture capitalists are focusing their resources in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment.

Attendees will get introduced to emerging areas that are driving investment interest and the key factors influencing investment decisions. Panelists include Karthee Madasamy, founder, MFV Partners; Preetha Ram, managing partner, Pier 70 Ventures; and Prakash Iyer, former MD at Trimble Ventures.

Ram Nagappan, CIO, BNY Melon/Pershing and ATEA co-founder, will moderate a CXO panel discussion on “CXO Challenges Post Pandemic”. Panelists include Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO, Freshwork and Kannan Alagappan, Global CIO, Dish Networks.

The role of CXOs has evolved significantly as they grapple with complex issues ranging from remote work and digital transformation to supply chain disruptions and talent retention. In this discussion, the panelists will dissect these challenges and share their experiences and strategies for leading organizations through these uncertain times.

The panel will also delve into the topics of financial resilience, customer experience (CX), mental health and well-being, and regulatory and compliance issues.

Several high-powered executives from Tamil Nadu including M Arumugam, CEO of Broadline Technologies; MVS Mani, Partner, July Ventures and Mahesh Ramachandran, Lead Advisor, STPI will participate in a panel discussion on, ‘Unlocking Economic Potential: Cross Border Partnerships for Growth’.

This panel will be moderated by ATEA Co-founder, Lena Kannappan. This panel will dissect the key components of successful cross-border initiatives and offer a comprehensive perspective on the strategies and mechanisms that enable economic growth.

Deepak Sekar, founder of Prof. Jim, will moderate a fireside chat with Venky Harinarayan, partner, Venky was one of Facebook’s first five investors. He shared an office with Google co-founder Sergey Brin and worked closely with Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

He will share insights on what distinguished these uber-successful entrepreneurs from others. Having founded and sold companies worth more than a billion dollars, he will share his favorite war stories.

Attendees will learn what entrepreneurs can do to maximize their chances for success. He will also share the investment methods that he follows at rocketship. Finally, he will also talk about what got him into cricket (as the owner of an MLC team SF Unicorns) and the future of cricket in the US.

Girish Muckai, founder and CEO, Rockfish Data

Girish Muckai, founder, RockFish, will moderate a panel on State of the Art in GenAI. The panel will explore the potential of GenAI, its implications, and challenges in diverse fields.

Panelists include Muddu Sudhakar, co-founder and CEO, Aisera; Soma Velayutham, GM (AI and 5G) at NVIDIA; Kannan Govindarajan, former VP (AI) at ServiceNow; and Malaikannan Sankarsubbu, VP (Eng. and Research), Saama.

Dr. Pal Manickam, a renowned gastroenterologist and social media superstar, is passionate about improving the overall well-being of people. His unique approach, which combines medical knowledge with a dash of humor, has earned him a devoted following on social media platforms. He will deliver a talk on ‘Health is Wealth’.

Dilip Saraf, LinkedIn TopCoach and renowned executive coach, will provide insights on “Career Advancement: Breaking into the Executive Ranks”. He will delve into the strategic approaches and essential skills required to prepare for executive positions within organizations.

He will explore the multifaceted elements that contribute to successful career progression to C-levels, offering attendees a comprehensive understanding of the steps and mindset needed to navigate the path to executive roles.

Preethy Padmanabhan, Sr. Director of Marketing at Freshworks, will moderate a panel of Unicorn founders who will talk about ‘How I built my Unicorn’.

Panelists include Subbu Meiyappan, co-founder, NextNav and CEO of ECSite; Ajay Mishra, co-founder, MobileIron; and Anand Vidyanand, president, Firework.

Sandeep Chinnakeshu, former CTO of Ericsson, former president of Blackberry Technology Solutions and popular author of ‘Your Company is Your Castle’ will deliver the closing keynote. Sandeep is currently the chief operating officer for Uhnder and has more than 30 years of experience leading product development and tech companies.

In addition to these, ATEA is introducing “ATEA 10” – a startup pitch event that celebrates entrepreneurship. Attendees can listen to these startups battle for the top prize.

You can register for CATAELYZE23 (on Saturday, Sept. 23rd at Computer History Museum) on Use the code INDICANEWS to get a $150 discount.

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