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Entrepreneurs Flock To Kendall Square To Get Empowered At TiECON East 2013

Press Release
06/06/2013

Over 550 entrepreneurs and investors attended TiE-Boston’s 15th Annual TiECON East conference held over two days (May 2 & 3) at the Cambridge Marriott. The conference theme was “Empowering Entrepreneurs” and showcased the hottest companies “Made in Boston.” The hotel was abuzz throughout the two days with high-quality speakers and enthusiastic entrepreneurs networking, exchanging ideas, and empowering each other.

The conference kicked off with a Family Feud-style Bootcamp session on Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid. Two teams competed to determine the top mistake - building the wrong team – made by entrepreneurs. The following panel sessions were on Digital Marketing and Intellectual Property. Simultaneously, TiE Challenge Judging took place behind closed doors where 20 selected companies presented to a panel of judges. Bounce Imaging, Drinkwell, Mindful Scientific, Rhoost, and WiFiZa were named the TiE Challenge 2013 Champions and recognized during the banquet celebrations on May 3rd.

TiE Angels Boston hosted Thursday’s high-energy Startup Reception allowing attendees to network with investors from the area. The energy from the reception continued with Tom Leighton’s, CEO of Akamai, keynote on the growth of Akamai from a small internet startup into a leading cloud company. Leighton talked about how they accidently rejected Steve Jobs’ offer when they first started out and how Star Wars and Victoria’s Secret helped them surpass $10B in revenues.

The second keynote of the evening was Manoj Saxena, General Manager of IBM Watson. Saxena discussed not only the future of computers and how cognition learning and cloud play an important role but also what IBM is doing with Watson to make this vision a reality.

Friday morning began with the “Made in Boston” keynote series featuring 3 local and hot companies. Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, spoke about how inbound marketing is about creating a brand that people love and how HubSpot was able to do this on the East Coast. Ash Ashutosh, CEO of Actifio, discussed the importance of culture which is the only thing that endures in a world where change is the only constant. Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeIn, talked about how "Passion is the extreme form of curiosity" and encouraged entrepreneurs to have the audacity to compete against big brands.

Tony Parham, Massachusetts’ 1st Government Innovation Officer, was appointed last August to find innovative ways to improve efficiency and streamline the delivery of government services. He commented on how Massachusetts is leading in green energy by investing “more in energy efficiency than any other state in the country” as well as in Life Science with the state’s big data initiative and crowdsourcing.

The Women’s Keynote Panel brought up important issues that need to be addressed in women’s equality in the business world. According to the panel, despite the fact that women control more than 80% of purchases and are more likely to still be in business after 5 years, “women get promoted by their past performance and men get promoted by their future potential.”  The key to having more female entrepreneurs is to keep telling our daughters and other young women that they can do it too.

Jonathan Kraft, President of The Kraft Group, talked about the history of his family’s businesses from their paper business to the Patriots. He spoke frankly about how fortunate his family has been and their efforts to give back particularly in the areas of medicine and education to help future generations. Kraft is so committed to empowering the next generation that he announced to the crowd’s delight that he would match the $5000 prize the TyE-Boston 2013 winning team won!

The conference explored areas of innovation across three tracks: Startup Track, which covered hurdles startups face from Fundraising to Building a Team and Exits; the Technology Track discussed the latest trends in Big Data, Enterprise, and Mobile; while the Future Track provided insights into Personalized Medicine, Gaming, and Education. 

PowerLunch was a huge success for the 3rd year. Attendees attended 4 different sessions; some engaged in lively, intimate discussions with experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders like Chris Allen, Firdaus Bhathena, Rick Grinnell, and Steve Papa, leaving no seat empty. Others attended a Lunch n Learn Session with EMC or a Cleantech discussion, while the rest opted to sit and listen to the TiE Challenge Open Mic pitch session. Attendees voted for their favorite companies – Drinkwell and Mindful Scientific were named the two Crowd Favorites.

For the past two years, TiE Stars celebrated extraordinary charter members in celebration of the TiE spirit. This year was the 15th year of TiECON East so in celebration, TiE Stars brought together the founding members, past presidents of TiE-Boston, and previous conference chairs. Desh Deshpande reflected on the beginning years and Jit Saxena spoke about the journey going forward. It was a great time to celebrate the past and toast to the future.



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