TiEcon amid pandemic, 7769 people attend conference, would go hybrid 2021


The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Silicon Valley members are high-fiving each other virtually for having successfully pulled off their marquee entrepreneurs’ conference, TiEcon, successfully amid the pandemic.

Technology helped the 27-year-old organization stay on course in its mission to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, funding, and incubation.

The conference was virtual but the enthusiasm was palpable. Attendees were texting if they liked the speaker, while taking in the talks.

The two-day, virtually held TiEcon 2020 had 7,769 people attending.

The numbers surprised not just the TiE Silicon Valley members but the big corporates at the conference.

TiEcon 2020 was stupendous and with 7,769 people having attended on both days, blew away our own expectations,” BJ Arun, TiE SV president, told indica News.

Post pandemic, I am envisioning a hybrid model for TiEcon where we have an in-person conference in the Silicon Valley, like we have done for the last 27 years, and simulcast the keynotes and programs live to our worldwide audience which could easily grow into the tens of thousands, “ Arun said.

We even had a couple of our grand keynote speakers write to us expressing their delight at having been a part of this amazing event. This is particularly impressive for an all-digital conference considering that a lot of the world is experiencing ‘Zoom fatigue’ during these unprecedented times,” he added.

Video-conferencing app Zoom streamed all the content, and Whova was the platform in-between that allowed users to choose between multiple tracks being streamed simultaneously, network with each other on the app, and also visit expo booths of various exhibitors.

The two-day conference had tracks several tracks focused on AI/ML, Security, Diversity & Inclusion, Cloud, Fintech and Health-Tech, and Mentorship.

The Mentor Connect program during TiEcon 2020 was hugely successful. Since it was run virtually, it allowed people from around the globe to tap into Bay Area luminaries on a near one-to-one basis,” Prakash Narayan, ATEA Silicon Valley executive committee member, told indica News.

The fact that there were people still engaged in deep conversations at 2 am [in India] is a testimony to the immense value delivered by this program,” he said.

Aubrey Aloysius, co-founder chairman and managing director Lorraine Music Academy Pvt Ltd in Gurgoan, India told indica News that he attended the mentorship program at 2 am and enjoyed the conference.

Asked what he sought to gain from the conference, Aloysius said: “To learn their mindset and technology exposure. You don’t get that in India.”

Aloysius won the TiEcon Leadership award for maximum networking at TiEcon 2020. He received a year-long TiE SV membership for free.

At a discussion on “Can you sell and market large size B2b deals remotely?” one of the panelists Kunal Agarwal, CEO, Unraveldata, said COVID has changed the mindset towards technology.

We see our cost of sales go down and velocity go up. Coming out of the pandemic, seems like we should just continue to do remote sales even if things go back to normal,” said Agarwal.

Ravi Ramachandran, vice president of sales, Okera, echoed Kunal.

Vineeth Rajagopal in charge of the technology and revenue for Digital OnUs, a market leader in hybrid cloud development and DevOps services, said in this current environment you need to focus on where customers are spending money on.