TiECON to get benefit of Gaitonde's experience
September 26, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
'It takes a village
to create successful entrepreneurs," Sunil Gaitonde says.
"It takes elders -- people who have done it before. It takes
money. It takes good universities. It takes great civic leaders."
Gaitonde should know.
Last August he sold his Oakbrook Terrace based tech startup Sarvega
to Intel for a tidy, but undisclosed, sum. Gaitonde could retire.
Instead, he's building another company and he's chairing Saturday's
TiECON Midwest 2005 event at the Hyatt Regency.
With 450 attendees,
TiECON is a sellout. That says something promising about Chicago.
Entrepreneurship is alive and well. It means our economic future
is bright, at least as long as there are successful elders like
Gaitonde who give their time and share their expertise.
Gaitonde and fellow
organizer Adarsh Arora, CEO of Lisle Technology Partners, have
lined up the civic leaders, the universities and the venture capitalists.
They've got Motorola CEO Ed Zander, Kellogg dean Dipak Jain and
venture capitalist J. B. Pritzker, to name just a few. They have
six panels brimming with experts on entrepreneurship.
original tech startup
Motorola's Zander says,
"We think of Motorola as the original high-tech startup and
want to give back to the Chicago community where it all started."
Motorola under Zander is becoming the anchor tenant of a Chicago
tech renaissance. Zander's appearance Saturday marks a turning
point for Chicago's tech community. His presence and interest
The goal of TiECON
is to share knowledge and catalyze entrepreneurship. That's why
TiE -- which stands for The Indus Entrepreneurs -- was founded
by successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in 1992. The group
has grown to 42 chapters in 9 countries with more than 10,000
members, including a powerful and thriving Chicago chapter.
Gaitonde knows the
benefits of TiE. In 1998, he moved here from California. His job
was still in California, and he was commuting back and forth.
He wanted to start a business. He showed up at a TiE event. It
was called "Thirty Companies in Five Minutes," Gaitonde
says. Thirty presenters had just five minutes to describe their
That day, Gaitonde
met his Sarvega co-founders, John Chirapurath and Girish Juneja.
He met the aspiring engineers whom he hired to build Sarvega.
"My company, Sarveda, is a pure TiE success story,"
Gaitonde expects more
Chicago success stories will emerge from Saturday's TiECON. He's
right. And that's good for all of us.
companies present Wednesday at Springboard: Midwest 2005. Organized
by Springboard Enterprises and the Center for Woman Entrepreneurs
in Technology at Northwestern, Springboard is the top venture
forum for female entrepreneurs. Presenters seek $3 million to
$5 million in funding from an audience of 150 venture investors
expected to attend.
"This year's presenters
are well-poised for venture investment," Center for Women
Entrepreneurs director Nancy Sullivan says.
Presenters are selected
from 100 female-owned companies across the Midwest. "Over
300 women-owned companies supported by Springboard have raised
over 3 billion dollars in capital," Sullivan adds.
New to this year's
program is a half-day session on angel investing. Sona Wang, principal,
Ceres Venture Fund; Lauren Flanagan, managing partner, Phenomenelle
Angels; and Stephanie Hanbury-Brown, founder, Golden Seeds, will
Kudos to Kristi
Lafleur, chief of staff of the Illinois Department of Commerce
and Economic Opportunity, and the National Science Foundation's
Dr. John Hurt, who are big backers of Springboard.
Two top public-sector
CIOs should have been recognized in last week's column: Catherine
Maras O'Leary of Cook County and Ellen Barry of the Metropolitan
Pier and Exposition Authority. Barry is incoming president of
the Society for Information Management.
Xtreme Cybermania hits
Navy Pier Friday through Sunday. DePaul University electronic
gaming experts will be on hand to improve your play.
The U.S. tech industry
added 190,000 net jobs in the last 18 months, according to the
American Electronics Association. Marty Singer, CEO of PCTEL,
keynotes tomorrow's AeA forum on mergers and acquisitions at the
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.