If you were at the Santa Clara Convention Center for TiEcon2011 you could not have missed a familiar figure in the registration area for almost the entire duration, talking incessantly to a panoply of people. When I asked Rohit Chandra about his motives, he said, “I registered for the conference to meet people and pitch my idea. I may not get 30 minutes here for a full pitch. If I can pique their interest to garner a follow-up meeting, it was worth it.” When I asked him if it was working, he pointed me to a pile of business cards.
While Rohit’s case may be an extreme example of networking at a conference, it goes to show the immense value of meeting a diverse group of people at a single location. TiEcon provides for both structured and unstructured means to connect with leaders who would otherwise be unavailable or inaccessible. MentorConnect provides an opportunity to meet with an industry stalwart in a scheduled session during lunch. InvestorConnect provides access to VCs and angels on a 1:1 basis to get feedback on your business plan.
Unlike other conferences that cost in excess of $1,500, TiEcon costs less than $500. We are able to keep TiEcon prices affordable since it is run entirely by volunteers in a not-for-profit organization. While the focus of this posting is networking at TiEcon, there are other benefits to attending this year’s conference, outlined in this blog post. Register now to avoid missing out!
—Prakash Narayan, Co-chair, TiEConnect