Release Date: 09/02/2014
The 3rd year of TiE Challenge officially launched in July with the 2014 winners coming together for the first monthly dinner of the program.
Gaugarin Oliver, TiE-Boston President, welcomed the group and gave a quick introduction to TiE and the different programs it offers members. Prat Moghe and Ramji Raghavan, co-chairs of TiE Challenge 2013, gave an overview of what the companies can expect in the coming months as well as updates on the progress of previous winners. They also introduced the new TiE Challenge team – Depankar Neogi, Chief Architect, Intuit; Sanjeev Jain, Founder & CEO, Idea First Technologies Inc; and Vaibhav Nalwaya, Managing Director & CFO, Blue Wolf Group.
TiE Challenge 2012 Winner, Prahar Shah of Mobee, gave an inspiring keynote address to the TiE Challenge companies on how to best engage with the program to achieve startup success.
Prahar’s journey, started in 2012 after an internship at Google that gave him the idea for Mobee. It was during this time he came across TiE Challenge and applied to the program, Mobee was selected as one of the TiE Challenge winners for the program’s inaugural class.
Shortly after starting the program, Prahar was introduced to TiE Angels, another TiE-Boston program, with the help of his TiE Challenge mentor. By November of the same year, he had raised over $1M with $500,000 from TiE Angels alone! That was just the beginning for Mobee.
Prahar covered in great detail how several TiE-Boston Charter Members have helped and guided him with gaining visibility through the press, getting customers, and raising Series A funding, which resulted in the company raising over $2.5M recently! He defined TiE resources as “Startup Success in a Box.”
In just 2 years, Mobee has gone from a local, Boston-based, mobile app startup with just 3 founders to a 15-person, national company turning offline data into crowdsourced intelligence that provides brands with real time insights. “None of this could have happened without TiE,” said Prahar.
Prahar credits the connections, mentors, and support he received through TiE for Mobee’s success. His advice to the new TiE Challenge companies was “Don’t be shy. The power and support of TiE’s network is invaluable so find the right mentors and advisors. Understand how everyone can help you and you’ve got startup success in a box right here.”
TiE Challenge is the first accelerator run by successful entrepreneurs to help new entrepreneurs. TiE Boston has over 100 successful entrepreneurs (Charter Members) who have taken companies public or had very successful exits. TiE Challenge offers a unique multiplicative force where these successful entrepreneurs get involved in helping 20 startups every year.
20 winners start the 9-month accelerator program run by experienced entrepreneurs, many of whom have taken companies public and/or had multi-billion dollar exits. The program includes monthly meetings, long-term mentoring, networking opportunities, and access to investors.