TiECon Southwest 2007 Wrap up

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The TiECon Southwest 2007 “Entrepreneurship Now, New, Next” conference, which took place in Anaheim, on September 15th, 2007, was, by all accounts a successful conference. The DoubleTree ball room was packed with a capacity turnout. A full day of talks and discussion panels, was followed by a networking mixer.

The keynotes were delivered by Sean Parker, Andy Bird and Promod Haque. Each of the speakers had a very unique approach to their talks, which were delivered to a group composed largely of entrepreneurs.

Sean Parker’s (Napster, Plaxo, Facebook) keynote in the form of a chat, brought out a person who was very sharp, and understood what it takes to succeed in the rather nebulous area of social networking. It also showed a person who is charmingly unwilling to wear the mantle of grandeur that no doubt gets thrown upon him regularly. He described his experiences at Napster (he portrayed that more as a learning experience rather than than a huge hit for him), Plaxo (he described it as a rather mundane business ) and of course the very successful Facebook in which he played a key role.

In a chat over dinner the evening before the conference, Sean Parker spoke very excitedly about his pet cause, Project Agape, a philanthropy focused company that has launched an app on Facebook, called “Causes on Facebook”. “Causes” allows people to launch their own charitable projects, and allows them to use the Facebook platform to rally people around their cause.

TiECon Soutwest 2007 conference.
Packed auditorium at the TiECon Southwest 2007: Photo Scott Witt

Andy Bird, president of Disney International has a very engaging way of speaking, and also an uncanny ability to gauge what the audience wants to hear, and tailoring his presentation accordingly. Andy spoke about Disney’s plans for expansion in foreign markets. Disney not only recognizes the potential of each of these markets, but also sees the need to “speak the language” and customize their offerings in each country.

Promod Haque of Norwest Ventures is clearly a person who is king of his domain. He has helped finance and build many large companies, and he was willing to share with the audience what goes into picking good companies. There was a seemingly awkward moment when a question was posed to him from the audience asking if he would talk about any of his investments that went bad. Promod laughed at that and mentioned that there were several investments in his portfolio that did not turn out as well as they were supposed to, infusing a sense of much needed realism in the venture capital mystique.

Each of the six panels on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Life Sciences, Media and Entertainment, Future Technology and Doing business in India, drew a lot of interested attendees.The evening was capped off with a networking mixer.

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