TORONTO: If you are young or a new immigrant or someone who feels an entrepreneurial urge but don’t know whom to go to for guidance, TiE is your best bet in the world.
TiE stands for The Indus Entrepreneurs. It was started in 1992 in America’s Silicon Valley by Indian entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with ancestral roots in the Indus area of pre-Partition Pakistan.
From its Indian origins in Silicon Valley 20 years ago, TiE has gone to become the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs to success.
Today, TiE has 61 chapters in 17 countries. And TiE Globe is the mother of all TiE chapters where successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business people give free guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs.
“TiE has gathered over 2,500 super successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business executive as its charter members. By one-on-one mentorship, these mentors guide, educate and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs to success,’’ says Suresh Madan, the outgoing president of TiE Toronto.
TiE Toronto too has 62 mentors on board to guide aspiring entrepreneurs. So if you have that entrepreneurial spirit in you, just call them. Who knows yours may be the next BlackBerry or whatever?
“Yes, we are a sounding board for start-ups. If you want to fine-tune your business idea, please come to us and we will provide you a mentor.. If we cannot find one here in GTA, we will find somewhere else. If you need funding, we will connect you with venture capitalists. If you are looking for connections, we will provide them,’’ says Madan has just been elevated to the TiE Global board.
Not surprisingly, thousands of budding entrepreneurs are knocking at TiE’s doors today – over 10,000 at the latest count!
And TiE’s doors are open everyone. “Despite our Indian roots, TiE today doesn’t profess any ethnicity, religion or boundaries. Our singular aim is to create entrepreneurs and wealth,’’ explains Ludhiana-born Madan.
Citing 30-odd stories of success under TiE Toronto, Madan says his organization targets young people and new immigrants who are highly qualified, skilled and experienced. “They are hungry for success, but they don’t know whom to go to. We open our doors to them and encourage them to start on their own rather than look for jobs which are far and few between.’’
Giving the example of CognoVision which was sold to Intel for over $25 million two years ago, Madan says, “These three friends (Haroon F. Mirza, Shahzad Malik, and Faizal Javed who started this company in 2006) came to us in 2007. We matched them with two mentors – one businessman and the other tech mentor. Look how quickly they created a company that Intel bought for millions. Another Toronto company we mentored was sold for over $10 million.’’
Apart from mentoring, TiE provides an extensive eight-month course at the TiE Institute to hone entrepreneurial skills.
Held on Sundays, this “holistic, value centered, concrete and interactive educational program for entrepreneur development’’ takes an aspirant through the whole gamut of skills to succeed in business. During the course, participants also get to present their ideas for projects to investors.
For those who have gone beyond the stage of ideas and created something new, TiE holds a 20-hour boot camp where participants make presentations about their products they want to market.
Then there is the TiE Quest – an annual gathering to link budding entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and the private equity industry.
“This is basically an exercise in funding promising entrepreneurs. We evaluate them over a six-month period through multiple evaluations. Venture capitalists test them by using seven criteria and then decide whether it is sound to fund them,’’ says Madan who is a senior executive with a hedge fund in downtown.
Shouldn’t Canadian politicians be thankful to an organization that mentors new immigrants into successful entrepreneurs in a country fast losing on innovation?
Hardly. You will never see a federal minister at TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Canada functions.
Maybe, because TiE is not a multi-culti forum that can deliver votes to politicians. It ONLY delivers successful entrepreneurs!