Release Date: 06/03/2014
Over 560 entrepreneurs and investors attended TiE-Boston’s 16th Annual TiECON East conference held over two days (May 29 & 30) at the Cambridge Marriott. The conference theme was “Breaking Boundaries” and showcased the hottest companies “Made in Mass.” The hotel was abuzz throughout the two days with high-quality speakers and enthusiastic entrepreneurs networking, exchanging ideas, and breaking boundaries with each other.
The conference kicked off with 3 Bootcamp sessions on Finding Your First Customer, Startup Branding and Strategic Partnerships, and Intellectual Property.
Simultaneously, TiE Challenge Judging took place behind closed doors where selected companies presented to a panel of judges. Augo, GestSure, Increment, LookBug, and Speare were named the TiE Challenge 2014 Champions and recognized during the banquet celebrations on May 30th. Speare was also awarded the Jit Saxena TiE Challenge Award for not only scoring the highest among judges but also winning the popular vote in the TiE Challenge Open Mic.
Thursday’s high-energy Startup Reception allowed attendees and speakers to network with each other followed by the Opening Keynote with Surya Panditi, SVP of Cisco. Panditi talked about the opportunities a more connected world is bringing through the growth in big data and Internet of Everything.
The first day concluded with the India Keynote Panel on “Exporting India”. The panel discussed the 3 key factors for a successful merger or acquisition: Credibility, Cash, and Courage. Each of the companies represented also discussed lessons they learned through some of their expansion plans.
Friday morning began with the “Made in Mass” keynote series featuring 3 local, prominent companies. Roger Marino, Co-founder of EMC, talked about the path to success and encouraged giving back after achieving success. Tom Erickson, CEO of Acquia, discussed how Massachusetts is a great place to build a digital business that can grow with agility and disruption. Abigail Johnson, President of Fidelity, talked to Stephanie Mehta of FORTUNE magazine about how Fidelity encourages creativity and innovation and offered some words of advice on business values to entrepreneurs.
Pharmaceutical industry veteran, Sarvajna Dwivedi, Co-founder of Pearl Therapeutics, highlighted the struggles of building a pharmaceutical enterprise during a Fireside Chat with Taris Biomedical’s CEO, Purnanand Sarma. Dwivedi offered insights and advice such as “take VC money only when you can treat it as your own” based on his own experiences building his company.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii talked about her journey to politics and her driving force to do good and make the US a better place.
The conference explored areas of innovation across three tracks: Startup Track, which covered hurdles startups face from Fundraising and Selling to Exits; The Technology Track discussed the latest trends in Big Data, Cyber Security, and Electronic Payments; the Cyber Security panel discussed how cloud infrastructure is breaking the security firewalls of traditional infrastructure. The Future Track provided insights into Robotics, Connected Health, and Internet of Things; The robotics panel talked about big customization is coming in education with robots while the Connected Health panel discussed how cost, care, and consumer experience will play a vital role in the future of healthcare.
PowerLunch was a huge success for the 4th year. Attendees attended 3 different sessions; some engaged in lively, intimate discussions with experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders like Aman Bhandari, Asa Kalavade, Deepak Taneja, Rob Soni, and Ravi Kuppuraj. Others attended a Lunch n Learn Session with EMC, while the rest opted to sit and listen to the TiE Challenge Open Mic pitch session. Attendees voted for their favorite companies.
TiE Stars celebrated 4 extraordinary charter members in celebration of the TiE spirit: Rajini Anachi, President of mZeal Communications, Ganapathi S, Founder & CEO of Terminal Exchange Systems, Purnanand Sarma, President & CEO, Taris Biomedical, and Deepak Taneja, CTO of RSA.
The grand finale to this year’s conference was the highly anticipated Leader Bank TiE Sharks. 5 startups, CampusTab, TalkTop, CrowdComfort, Speare and Increment, pitched their business ideas to Sharks (local angel investors) in front of a live audience with 2 of them raising over $100K total. Talktop raised $35K from the Sharks, while Increment raised $70K,from the Sharks and audience. This segment was sponsored by Leader Bank.