Ram K. Reddy, President, TiE Silicon Valley

@Siliconeer #Siliconeer  #TiESiliconValley @TiESV #TiESV #RamKReddy #TIECON #Tech #SantaClara #SiliconValley #Desi @RamKReddy #SFBayArea #California – Talking about new directions, Ram Reddy, president of TiE Silicon Valley discussed TiE’s Silver Jubilee, what was accomplished, and his vision for TiE’s future, in an interview with Siliconeer.

“As we look outwards to the next 25 years, TiE will adapt to the ever-changing needs of the entrepreneur, appeal to a broader demographic and build a strong data driven engagement model.”

– Ram K. Reddy, President, TiE Silicon Valley

The Indus Entrepreneur (or TiE) is celebrating 25 years of entrepreneurship incubation in Silicon Valley. The holy grail of all things tech has, in one way or the other, been touched by this organization. Siliconeer caught up with TiE Silicon Valley’s new president, Ram K. Reddy to talk about the future of TiE and his vision for the next 25 years. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Ram K. Reddy, President, TiE Silicon Valley

Q: Tell us about TiE

A: The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a not-for-profit founded in 1992 in the Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and tech professionals. Today, the TiE ecosystem is a 320,000+ cohesive network of technology professionals, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, VCs, corporates, and mentors. We connect within and with the outside world through a myriad of programs and engagements.

Our mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, education, incubating, and funding. We are particularly focused on generating and nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Q: Can you share some data on what impact you’ve had over the past 25 years?

A: I can share some general stats –

  • Ecosystem: 320,000+
  • Global Membership: 13,000+
  • Global Charter Members: 2,400+
  • Chapter Locations: 61
  • Countries: 18
  • Credited for wealth creation of $400+ Billion
  • Exits with $1 billion or more: 29
  • Exits with $100 million or more: 240+
  • Exits of $20 – 100 million: 400+

Q: Who are some prominent members of TiE Silicon Valley?

A: TiE Silicon Valley is the mothership of the enterprise. There are many champions of TiE who have made significant contributions over the years. There are several iconic names in its current and past charter.  To name a few –  Vinod Khosla, Ram Shriram, Romesh Wadhwani, Bill Draper, Promod Haque, Kumar Malavalli, Shantanu Narayen, Vivek Ranadive, Sanjay Mehrotra, Desh Deshpande, BV Jagadeesh, Shailesh Mehta, Prabhu Goel, Saurabh Srivastava, Pravin Gandhi, Lata Krishnan, Talat Hasan, Vinita Gupta, Anil Godhwani, and many others. Young turks such as Neeraj Arora, Dheeraj Pandey, Jyoti Bansal, and Ravi Mhatre are amongst a new generation of success stories from our charter. Several of our founding members are still very active serving TiE, running companies, leading non-profits, mentoring, and giving back in multiple ways. Some names that come to my mind are Suhas Patil, Kanwal Rekhi, Kailash Joshi, Satish Gupta, and Prabhu Goel. I’m sure I missed several important contributors.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges that lie ahead for TiE?

A: We have an aging charter with a significant percentage of us over 60 or nearing 60. We are totally under-represented in women, and age, and ethnic diversities. Gender diversity is a major gap in the tech world. We are planning to annually host a summit focused on women-in-tech, starting with our first event later this year. We are fully cognizant of our shortcomings and plan to push strong and hard to make those adjustments in the coming years. Same goes for refreshing our charter with younger accomplished entrepreneurs. We want to discover and instate high caliber entrepreneurs such as Dheeraj Pandey and Jyoti Bansal 2-3 years ahead of their success.

We will take this on programmatically.

Q: What’s next for TiE Silicon Valley?

A: Thanks to a very cohesive and committed board, we are driving several new initiatives.

TiEeco Platform: Most significant of these was the build of a platform to enable TiE Silicon Valley to be strongly relevant in future years. This platform allows us to create a strong cohesive ecosystem for entrepreneurs and startups worldwide. Focused on connecting startups and aspiring tech entrepreneurs with domain experts, influencers, big enterprises, governments, and others with common interests. Through a myriad of programs, partnerships and collaborative initiatives, we hope to engage and become much more relevant in the Silicon Valley first and expand our footprint. TiEeco also helps users stay informed and exchange domain expertise with others having similar interests. This is going to be a significant value addition for staying relevant.

Knowledge transfer: We are a mostly a volunteer driven enterprise that operates with a small support staff. Charter members and active volunteers participate at multiple levels, based on their willingness, schedules and core competencies. They go away to build companies, take intermittent breaks, and come back to serve (for example, one of our charter members, Prem Uppaluru came back to serve on the board after six years of founding, building and exiting his fourth or fifth company. Their ideas and contributions are not easily transferred to the next group of volunteers. We are now switching from a predominantly people driven practice to a much more process driven engagement model. This provides for a better transfer of ideas and experiences.

Influencers Circle: This is a major new initiative for us this year. Our objective is to identify and pursue domain experts and influencers from the greater Bay Area who could bring significant branding value. We hope to build a 3000+ network within the next 2-3 years. The individuals would enrich our network in multiple ways. This can be a major value proposition for our global ecosystem and future virtualized engagements.

Domain focused programs: We’ve already scheduled more than 90 events for the next year until April 2018 to engage the broader Silicon Valley ecosystems and anchoring enterprises with domain focused events. We have executive roundtables, start-up forums and tech summits. A broader non-domain centered programs such as CIO, CMO, mentoring, women-in-tech, are amongst new initiatives.

Start-up Anchor Program: This new initiative aspires to programmatically connect participating fast-track late stage startups outside the Silicon Valley with the Silicon Valley technology ecosystem. This is a paid program with clearly defined deliverables.

Mentoring redefined: Adapt to the changing needs of the entrepreneur! Focused on domain and startup life cycle. Limit inspirational mentoring to youth programs. We have developed a mobile app for TiEeco to facilitate idea exchange, virtual mentoring and domain centered news feed.

Tech bloggers and journalists: They are the biggest influencers in today’s tech world. Leave it to the experts to share their views. We invited 200+ bloggers to TiEcon.

Sustainable sponsor ROI: Self-sustenance as a not-for-profit has been the biggest challenge for us over the years. We recognize the value of being selective of our sponsor engagements while staying true to our mission objectives. We are planning data-driven deliverables and multiple co-hosted events with tech enterprises in SFO, mid-peninsula and south bay.

Branding: Much of what we plan to do over the next few years will be centered strongly on how we reposition ourselves to remain strongly relevant and purposeful to our network. Finer details are going to be announced to the charter at our closing banquet of TiEcon 2017, May 6. Hope you can attend.

Past TiE presidents at the TiEcon 2016