Covid good for start-ups: TiE50 chair Vipul Singhal


Entrepreneurship is a hard journey so it is important to have a support system to connect to, says Vipul Singhal, co-chair of the TiE50 2021 contest for startups, the signature program at TiE Silicon Valley’s annual flagship event, TiEcon.

Singhal, who the founder and president of TechOne Inc, a digital transformation consulting firm serving Fortune 500 clients, is passionate about innovation.

TiEcon and TiE50 have partnered with legendary venture capitalist Tim Draper, who offers winners at TiE50 to pitch at his TV show, Meet the Drapers. TiEcon 2021, which is going to be held May 6 through 8, is again all-virtual this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

The deadline for online registration to participate in TiE50 is April 25, and the participation fee is $595. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 30.

Every participant will get more than $5,000 in actual useable products and value, TiE50 co-chair Singhal told indica News, explaining with an example about TiE SV sponsors like IBM giving five-year-old companies or startups and under one million in revenue, $1,000 a month cloud credit.

So instead of buying from AWS cloud, you can get it from IBM and Google is offering the same to all TiE 50 applicants,” Singhal said by way of example.

Asked about the selection criteria, he said: “At the end of the day it’s a business and as a business, you have to raise money, make money, and add value to the customer. So the primary criteria is what’s their likelihood of succeeding and at what stage.”

Out of the TiE 50, he said, 10 would be selected to pitch to during the and will get the casting call for season 5 of Meet the Drapers.

Singhal said they have received 100 plus applications.

The whole thing about TiE is in the spirit of giving and I am passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship, so I said this is natural for me,” said Singhal, who last year too co-chaired TiE 50.

Asked about his thoughts on the impact of the pandemic on the start-ups ecosystem, Singhal said: “My analogy is that you cannot stop flowing water. It’s just a passion of an entrepreneur because I have been an entrepreneur and I know your family and even kids would say you are crazy and [that’s] exactly what it is. I think Covid is a temporary kind of stoppage but you cannot really hold that water. The stream of innovation finds its ways, the need, and the need is the source of inspiration and innovation.”

Covid, said Singhal, had brought more efficiency to start-ups. He said that since last year he has invested in a few healthcare-focused startups.