Three R's need a 4th: Raisin' entrepreneurs
June 13, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Education and entrepreneurship
are two E's that mean everything for Chicago's future. If our
schools are successful, we'll have a well-prepared work force.
Without the entrepreneurs, where will our grads work? The manufacturing
jobs are dwindling. The knowledge-economy jobs must be created.
use standardized tests to measure our schools' success. But how
do we measure our community's effectiveness creating entrepreneurs?
Adarsh Arora, president
of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) has an idea: Measure the involvement
of the business establishment in supporting entrepreneurship.
Says Arora, "The
key to succeeding in entrepreneurship is getting commercial sector
leaders involved." The more successful CEOs and proven business
leaders supporting local entrepreneurs the healthier our community
will be. I agree.
Arora and TiE just
landed Chicago's Big E, Motorola CEO Ed Zander, to keynote "TiEcon
Midwest: Entrepreneurs in a Flat World," slated for Oct.
1. He's also booked Kellogg School Dean Dipak Jain to speak. It
was Zander's participation that brightened Arora's outlook on
local entrepreneurship. Mine too.
Arora is a successful
serial entrepreneur. His current venture, Lisle Technology Partners,
builds technology products for venture-backed firms. Arora has
seen what local business leaders can accomplish in Silicon Valley.
That's where TiE got its start. It began when a group of successful
South Asian entrepreneurs banded together to foster entrepreneurship.
Today TiE is highly diverse. Their programs support entrepreneurs
of all backgrounds.
Modeling TiE's California
success, Arora's TiE Midwest chapter has become a hot spot for
local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Its events attract
the cream of Chicago's entrepreneurial and venture capital community.
Arora's excited that
a number of top execs signed on as charter members. He has recruited
Tellabs CEO Krish Prabhu; Motorola CTO Padmasree Warrior; Installshield
CEO Viresh Bhatia; Hewitt CTO Sanjeev Anand, and Sarvega Chairman
TiE's also lined up
advocates such as Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center President
David Weinstein and VCs including KB Partners' Bob Zieserl; Arch
Development Partners Managing Partner Tom Churchwell and William
Blair Managing Director Ellen Carnahan.
So what's Arora's prognosis
for Chicago? Short-term, he thinks local entrepreneurship needs
a shot in the arm. He says we need more early stage venture capital.
I say we also need
more mentored entrepreneurs with solid business cases and first
customers in tow.
is optimistic. "When I see business leaders getting together
to support entrepreneurship, I know new businesses will get formed,"
in the ICE Age
Arora and TiE host a tune-up event for the October forum at the
offices of Gardner Carton and Douglas. It's called, "Who
will survive the ICE age?" where ICE stands for information,
communications and entertainment.
These days ICE gets
delivered over a common technology platform and network. That's
why Comcast Senior Vice President Joe Stackhouse wants to sell
you digital television, Internet connectivity and telephone service.
It's also why SBC CEO
Ed Whitacre wants to sell you digital television, plus a DSL hookup
and telephone service.
Is there room for Chicago's
entrepreneurial community to make a buck on ICE? Arora thinks
there are big opportunities, but not everyone will survive the
panel will be Harsh Muthal, senior vice president, Satyam Computer
Services. Panelists include Mark Pashan, vice president, Lucent;
Mike Mulica, CEO, BridgePort Networks; Raghu Rau, corporate vice
president, Motorola Networks, and Venkata Majeti, CEO, Ropan.
Development Alliance President, Tom Thornton; Arch Development
Partners Managing Partner Tom Churchwell and Chicagoland Entrepreneurial
Center President David Weinstein host their June Monday Morning
Meeting today at UBS Tower on Wacker Drive.
a business process-improvement provider; Terra Firma Technologies,
a systems integrator, and Uponus Technologies, a developer of
compression and encryption technologies. strut their stuff seeking
Michael Krauss is a
Chicago area tech writer and consultant.