(Left): A man looks at a Google Earth map on a screen as Google Earth unveils the revamped version of the application, April 18, 2017, at an event at New York’s Whitney Museum of Art. Google launched a re-imagined version of its free Earth mapping service, weaving in storytelling and artificial intelligence and freeing it from apps. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images) (Inset): Cockpit of Tesla Model S. Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja will be speaking at the event; (Inset middle): VISA CFO Vasant Prabhu will be speaking at the event; (Inset, bottom): Levi Strauss CFO Harmit Singh will also be speaking at the event. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images); (Right): TiEcon 2017 conference expo. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Bringing extensive coverage of the largest entrepreneurship conference for the last few years, Siliconeer youth editor Vansh A. Gupta sat down with TiE president Ram Reddy and exclusively brings behind-the-scenes actions, and a preview of this year’s TiEcon, TiE Inflect 2018.

The most essential change to TiEcon this year isn’t just the name. This year, the “TiEcon” identity will evolve to “TiE Inflect 2018.” A very fitting name for a conference that magnanimously focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation.

With over 5,400 attendees and over 220 speakers expected, the TiE Inflect team this year have prepared well, and look set to bring influential figures from the likes of Tesla, Visa, Levi’s, Google, and Microsoft, to share words of wisdom on the hottest topic of the decade: Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Building on the twenty-five-year legacy of TiEcon, we have designed TiE Inflect 2018 to focus on the business and human impact of AI,” said Ram Reddy, president of TiE Silicon Valley.

(Above): TiE Silicon Valley president Ram Reddy speaking about TiE Inflect at the 2017 TiEcon. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Reddy has a vision – to change the outlook on TiE and bring TiE more into the mainstream in the next 25 years. “Inflect will be a fitting name, as TiE focuses more on the evolution of technology and the rapidly changing digital world.” In an exclusive chat, he explains, “the whole purpose of bringing this name upon the TiE trademark is to mix old-school with the new; to bring the past, the present, and the future together in one room.” He says, “this is the inflection point for TiE and this will probably be the last year we will have the word ‘TiE’ along with ‘Inflect.’ Next year, TiE will evolve into ‘Inflect’ but it will still live up to the expectations of TiEcon.”

With the tagline, “Imagination AI,” TiE Inflect 2018 will be focusing hard on the hottest topic in Silicon Valley, Artificial Intelligence. Every Silicon Valley company – Google, Apple, Facebook, and more – are venturing deep into AI, so it is no surprise that TiE has made this the focus of this year’s conference.

TiE Inflect will consists of three parts: keynotes, the expo, and networking. It has been their formula for success for well over two decades and it will probably be used again for the years to come. And let’s not ignore, for the love of mankind and the human factor, the TiE Entertainment Dinner.

Last year, TiEcon had many keynotes and tracks focusing on AI, AR/VR, autonomous vehicle technology, gaming, drones, and entrepreneurship.

This year we will see a shift in the tracks’ subjects as this year the topics include MarTech, GovTech, AI/Machine Learning, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Emerging Tech, Health Tech, Internet of Things, Women and Youth, and more. All of these subjects are an integral part of our daily living. For example, our smartphones exhibit the capability for AI, IoT, and has a lot to do with cybersecurity. It will be intriguing to see what the expert speakers lined up by TiE have to say about these topics.

(Above, l-r) TiE Inflect Executive Director Jay Visvanathan, TiE Inflect Co-Convener R. Paul Singh, and TiE Marketing Chair Anand Akela lead the meeting to plan for TiE Inflect 2018. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

A Little About the Key Tracks – (tieinflect.org)

Artificial Intelligence: The global Artificial Intelligence (AI) spending is projected to exceed $40 billion by 2025 from about $650 million in 2016, driven by the huge potential offered by the capability of algorithms in machine learning to use predictive analysis to simulate human decision making from past data and give improved results. With VC funding estimated at $3.0 billion, U.S. AI companies received the highest VC funding in 2017.

Internet of Things (IoT): We’re not all that far off from the day when our refrigerators and our smartwatches will be able to have conversations of their own. The Internet of Things (IoT) concept of super-connectivity among commercial, consumer, and industrial devices promises to bring with it improved process efficiency for businesses and more value to consumers.

Cybersecurity: The cloud revolution, which began over a decade ago, has finally run its course, successfully transforming business models and working practices. Given that cloud computing resources have a more profound impact on businesses and societies than physical assets, cloud security represents a rapidly growing market with the potential to achieve revenues in excess of $10 billion by 2022.

TiE Women: The need for gender equality in the tech industry is more critical than ever before. The gender gap in technology continues to be a challenge, and it is time to work together to make sure that female success in the tech industry is being recognized and celebrated. At TiE Inflect 2018, the ‘Women in Tech’ track will explore technological innovations made by women, bring further awareness to the obstacles they face, and focus on cultivating a community of like-minded female leaders.

TiE Youth: For the “youngpreneurs.” According to a Gallupsurvey, 77% of students in grades 5-12 said they want to be their own boss, with 45% saying they wanted to start their own business. 42% even indicated a desire to invent something that changes the world. The youth of today clearly have the interest – and potential – to build the future they want for themselves.

To speak on these topics, TiE has invited experts from various companies.

To name a few: Harmit Singh, Deepak Ahuja, and Vasant Prabhu; the Chief Financial Officers of Levi Strauss, Tesla Motors, and Visa, respectively. Harmit Singh and Vasant Prabhu are also the Executive Vice Presidents of their companies. The speakers and tracks will be very informative and will give a new outlook on these topics, however the heart and soul of the conference and its attendees is in the Expo.

(Above): TiE volunteers discuss the progress, ahead of TiE Inflect 2018. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Like every year, tech jargon will be flowing in the rooms of the Santa Clara Convention Center, but the expo is where the real action takes place. Entrepreneurs and representatives from startups will market their offerings to many venture capitalists and potential customers in the expo and the ideas and thoughts flowing are very diverse. The genesis of TiE Inflect and its success is due to the expo as it gives the ideal environment for motivated and eager entrepreneurs to connect with the experienced and the wise.

It is like LinkedIn, except rather than connecting through screens, you are connecting face to face. I know, it’s a tad bit intimidating but exceptionally effective.

TiEcon has always been one of the best business conferences to attend. The amount of wisdom encompassing the halls of Santa Clara Convention Center is one of the reasons why. The opportunities to meet and connect with promising people are endless. You work hard, you also play hard. Although TiEcon is now TiE Inflect 2018, the conference will still hold up to its hype and expectations.

The unmatched energy of budding entrepreneurs, the invaluable guidance of various leaders in their respective fields and most importantly, the “giving back to the community” gesture of those who made it big in this land of opportunities, inspire one to keep coming back to TiE Inflect.

Interested readers can register for TiE Inflect 2018 conference at: https://www.tieinflect.org/register/