WOBURN, MA-Attended by many of its founding charter members and past presidents, TiE-Boston held its 20th anniversary gala at Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA, on Wednesday, and bestowed its highest honor, Lifetime Achievement Award, to serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Venkat Srinivasan, who is credited to have created at least 1,800 jobs and a value of more than $2 billion for shareholders. (Photos by Pretty Instant)
TiE-Boston, which was founded in 1997 as TiE-Atlantic and is TiE Global’s second oldest and the second largest chapter, also honored 13 other entrepreneurs in various categories. Entrepreneurial Achievement Award: Anil Agarwal, Veera Anantha, Nilanjana Bhowmik, Neil Chedda, Bhaskar Panigrahi, Ramji Raghavan, Jagat Sisodia and Satish Tadikonda. (Bios of all recipients are given below.)
Distinguished Service to Philanthropy: Sekhar Naik; Health Innovator of the Year: Derek Haas; Rising Entrepreneur of the Year: Allis Tweed-Kent; Charter Member of the Year: Rishi Bhalerao; and Volunteer of the Year: Arjun Venkatachalam.
TiE-Boston President Praveen Tailam thanked the founding team, past presidents, members, sponsors, volunteers and all who have contributed to the growth of TiE-Boston and its impact on the local ecosystem.
“It is you the members, the partners and sponsors who are pillars of this organization. Without you this organization will not exist. There are very few organizations in the world where the members pay a fee, give their time, advice and open their networks without expecting anything in return,” said Tailam. “Our job is to make sure your life is enriched by being part of the organization. All of this continues to be done in the spirit of creating value and giving back.”
Tailam said TiE-Boston today produces over 50 events each year designed to connect rising entrepreneurs – of all backgrounds – to the expertise and networks of accomplished charter members; and at the heart of everything TiE did and does are experienced charter members willing to give time, expertise, and capital to support the next generation of innovators.
He said TiE-Boston has taken some great initiatives and has launched some signature programs like TiE-Boston Angels, TiE-ScaleUp and TYE. TiE-Boston Angels is a pro-entrepreneur angel group that hsa established itself as a strong entity where entrepreneurs have access to capital and advice. In a very short span of time, these angels have invested over $10 million in 24 startups.
“TIE- ScaleUp is fantastic awarding winning accelerator program where we help startups scale their business. Each startup works with mentors who are committed to empowering and growing their business to next level,” Tailam said. “Over 58 companies have been inducted this program and the camaraderie and knowledge sharing between these companies has been very influential on building their companies.”
Tailam said TyE is another great program where TiE volunteers teach high schoolers with business, problem solving, and team building skills that will serve them for a lifetime and implant the seeds of entrepreneurship early in their life. Over 10000 kids across the globe have taken advantage of this program and we are already seeing budding entrepreneurs who had that background.
“Looking ahead into 2018 we will continue to be inclusive and diverse with strong engagement from women and other ethnicities, add value to health and med tech companies, double down on our impactful programs and build TiE-Boston to be the trusted organization for rising entrepreneurs and the best chapter in the TiE ecosystem,” Tailam said.
The gals also held a “Fireside Chat” between Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Venkat Srinivasan. The TiE-Boston Board awards the Lifetime Achievement Award when an individual has made a lasting impact in the business community, and a significant contribution to the success of TiE-Boston.
Srinivasan is a serial entrepreneur and was till recently Founder and CEO of RAGE Frameworks. He has successfully built several knowledge-based technology businesses including eCredit, Corporate Fundamentals and recently Rage Frameworks. The RAGE AI platform is pioneering the creation of intelligent machines in a wide range of industries and for a broad range of use cases.
Srinivasan has also founded EnglishHelper, KnowYourMeds and AIinGov all of which are double bottom-line enterprises focused on education, health and the public sector, respectively. He is a uniquely experienced individual with expertise in multiple functional areas. He is an expert in knowledge-based systems architectures, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, natural language processing, corporate finance and accounting.
Srinivasan holds several patents related to flexible technology architectures. His book titled, The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data was published by Wlley in 2016 and he is the author of a forthcoming book titled, The Rise of Intelligent Machines, also to be published by Wiley.
Prior to founding eCredit.com in 1993, Srinivasan served as an Associate Professor at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business in Boston, MA. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a certified Chartered Accountant from India.
Srinivasan and his wife, Pratima, are active in the community. He is a Vice-Chair of the American India Foundation [AIF] dedicated to catalyzing social and economic change in India. Srinivasan is also a Trustee of BUILD, a non-profit organization focusing on entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success in the U.S. He is a member of the Boston Harbor Now’s Advisory Board.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Anil Agrawal
Anil Agrawal is the founder and CEO of CIMCON Lighting, Inc. and has more than twenty-five years of experience in corporate management, sales and marketing, product development and entrepreneurial leadership. He has pioneered the concept of “Internet Of Outdoor Things” that lays the foundation for Smart Cities across the globe. He holds several US Patents and has several publications on advanced control systems. Prior to this, he co-founded CIMCON Software and successfully led the company through years of continuous growth and positioned it as a multi-faceted company with global customer base and offices in USA, UK and India.
Anil received his Masters’ degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Veera Anantha
Dr. Veera Anantha is a hands-on technology executive and business leader with a passion to change the world using technology and big data. He has held executive positions at Fortune 100 companies; and has successfully founded, led & grown startups resulting in significant exits (to Apple, Motorola, Digital Health Corp). Dr. Anantha is currently Founder & COO of The Learning Corp (formally known as Constant Therapy); an award winning mobile solution that uses advanced data analytics to help people recover their brain function after a stroke, brain injury or other neurological disorders. As Founding CEO of Constant Therapy, he quickly grew it from an idea to a high impact health technology company serving tens of thousands of patients and clinicians globally; and won awards for its patient impact from the American Heart Association and AARP.
Previously as an executive at Motorola, Dr. Anantha lead a global team that created several award winning enterprise wireless products and brought them to market worldwide. As VP Engineering at Wireless Valley (a startup acquired by Motorola), he lead a team that invented wireless technologies that are used around the world today to design and manage complex wireless networks (most wireless routers in buildings and campuses work well today because to this ubiquitous technology). While at Intrinsity (a startup acquired by Apple), Dr. Anantha worked with a team that built the world’s fastest Digital Signal Processor at the time.
Dr. Anantha has an MS and Ph.D. from Northwestern University and BS from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai. He holds several technology patents, is an author on many peer-reviewed scientific papers, and a frequent speaker at technology forums and conferences. Dr. Anantha is a mentor at the Insight Health Data Science Program and Charter Member of TiE Boston.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Nilanjana Bhowmik, Converge VC – Founder & General Partner
Nilanjana brings a rigorous focus on B2B tech to her role as Converge Founder & General Partner drawing on her 23 years as a venture capitalist, investment banker and operating executive.
Prior to founding Converge, Nilanjana was a General Partner at Longworth Venture Partners where she led the firm’s investments in enterprise tech. Always on the hunt for the bleeding edge, her investments span big data, advanced analytics, storage, software defined networking, cybersecurity and cloud dev-ops. In addition to her current board responsibilities, prior investments and portfolio involvements at Longworth include Viewfinity (acquired by CyberArk), VKernel (acquired by Quest), Softricity (acquired by Microsoft) and Thor Technologies (acquired by Oracle). As an investment banker at Broadview (now Jefferies), Nilanjana led the bank’s research publications of market maps on middleware, application and security software, and honed her ability to assess emerging tech markets with massive potential. She executed numerous M&A transactions of leading enterprise tech companies. After publishing her graduate dissertation on object-oriented class libraries, Nilanjana was recruited to Object Design Inc., the leading object-oriented database and INC 500, #1 private Company in 1994. There she held several positions through the company’s fast growth from venture-backed to IPO. She ran the professional services organization for the Americas, and delivered one-third of the company’s annual revenues.
Nilanjana received her B.Eng. in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, her M.S. in Computer Science from University of South Carolina, and her MBA from INSEAD.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Neil Chhedda
Neil is an entrepreneur-turned-investor. After founding and building several businesses without raising traditional venture capital, he was inspired to build the kind of firm he would have wanted to partner with—one that would help build companies, rather than just place bets on them, with the voice of an experienced entrepreneur. Neil has focused on making this vision a reality as a cofounder of Romulus Capital.
At Romulus, Neil leads investments in technology-enabled companies across sectors and stages. He focuses on helping founders work through critical company-building tasks, including attracting great talent, designing and building great products, acquiring first customers, and raising capital for continued growth. Companies Neil has founded or in which he has invested at the seed stage have raised over $1 billion of capital, generate over $1 billion in revenues annually, employ thousands around the world, and are packed with innumerable war stories. He aims to bring the best of this experience to every founder he backs.
Prior to Romulus, Neil advised some of the world’s largest healthcare and financial institutions at McKinsey & Company, built products that have since reached hundreds of millions of users at Zynga, founded and successfully sold a healthcare technology and services business, and established an investment firm focused on acquiring and growing B2B businesses in traditional industries.
When he’s not with entrepreneurs, keeping Neil on the ground is a challenge—he is an avid scuba diver and pilot. Neil received an A.B. in Political Science from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Prapti, live in downtown Boston.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Bhaskar Panigrahi
Bhaskar has a rich experience of more than 25 years as a serial entrepreneur. Bhaskar has an extensive experience in setting up, building, formulating corporate strategy and direction for various successful organizations. He is currently Chairman of ConnectM Technology Solutions and Cambridge Energy Resources. He is also a General Partner in Avanti Holdings, Cambridge Energy Holdings, and Southwood Partners.
Bhaskar was co-founder and Chairman of Cambridge Technology Enterprises, global business and technology Services Company specializing in enterprise transformation and modernization services. Bhaskar led a successful IPO of Cambridge Technology Enterprises on both Bombay and National Stock Exchange in India. Under his leadership of five years, Cambridge Technology had grown at 100% CAGR. Prior to Cambridge Technology Enterprises. Bhaskar also served as CEO of Cell
Exchange, an enterprise systems developer to Government enterprises and a Washington Technology Fast 50 company. Before that, he served as the CEO of Unique Computing Solutions and e-Solutions Integrator, Internet technology and services firms. Unique Computing was named twice on Inc. 500 List of fastest growing private companies, Deloitte Regional Fast 50 and National Fast 500 rosters. He promoted many other technology companies: 1Efficiency (Energy Monitor in Commercial Buildings), Mascot Networks (product and solutions provider in education space) and Trading Research Design (financial risk management solution provider).
Bhaskar holds a BS in Computer Science from National Institute of Technology, Suratkal, India. Besides his entrepreneurial interests, he enjoys golf, keenly follows cricket and loves social networking.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Ramji Raghavan
Ramji Raghavan is the Founder & CEO of Pragya Systems. Pragya is developing solutions to help students align their college learning and experiences to jobs and careers. Ramji was most recently at Movik Networks, where as Founder/CEO and CTO he led the company to raise over $40M in venture capital and deliver ground-breaking RAN-aware solutions to help multiple tier-1 mobile operators deal with the rapidly increasing rich media internet content in their 3G/4G networks. Prior to founding Movik, Ramji was the General Manager of the Networking Business Unit of Telsima (acquired by Aviat), where he ran a multi-national organization building market leading WiMax and IPTV backhaul products for emerging markets. Prior to Telsima, Ramji was the Founder and CTO of Coriolis Networks before which he held senior leadership roles at Digital/Cabletron and Motorola. Ramji has an MS from UMass Amherst, and a BTech in EE from IIT Madras.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Jagat Sisodia
Jagat S. Sisodia, also known as Jag, served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and Director at Degree Controls, Inc. and AdaptivCool. Mr. Sisodia has over 25 years of global business experience, including general management, mergers and acquisitions, and finance & accounting. He served as Vice President of Intertek Group plc since January 1998. Mr. Sisodia joined Intertek Group in 1987 as Chief Financial Officer of the FTS division, after which he became Chief Financial Officer of the business. He served with Intertek Testing, MCI Telecom, public accounting. He serves as Director of Optima Bank & Trust Company. He is a Maryland Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Sisodia holds a B.S. (BA) and a Masters in Business Administration from The American University, Washington DC.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award – Satish Tadikonda
Satish Tadikonda is an entrepreneur in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. His current venture, Avigo, focuses on using healthcare information to optimize clinical trials. In addition to his current venture, Satish is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.
As a member of TiE Angels, Satish is an active early stage investor and as a co-founder of TiE ScaleUp, he is deeply involved in mentoring many startups as they scale their ventures. Satish also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Wyebot, Anju Software, and Gateway for Cancer, and also on the advisory boards of ClearMotion, Blue Cloud Ventures and Maxwell Health.
Distinguished Service to Philanthropy – Sekhar Naik
Sekhar Naik is a founder of technology startups in the Analytics and Decisions Sciences space. Sekhar is passionate about leveraging data for better decision making and building organizational efficiencies through data and information. His companies include MResult providing Business Intelligence services, VoiceGlance helping companies hire better talent, and Vindicet working with Health Providers on managing patient care cost and better health outcomes
Health Innovator of the Year – Derek Haas
Derek founded Avant-garde Health to create a truly scalable solution for hospitals to deliver value-based care. Avant-garde Health builds on his work as the Project Director and Fellow for Value-Based Health Care Delivery at the Harvard Business School, where he works with healthcare providers to help them better measure and manage their costs. Derek also teaches in HBS executive education courses related to value management in health care.
He has previously worked on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, advised the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General on a range of healthcare policy issues, consulted with Bain & Company where he focused on performance improvement, and partnered with the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives to launch the Chamber Health Coop to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses.
Derek holds an MBA and a BA in Economics from Harvard University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Rising Entrepreneur of the Year – Ailis Tweed-Kent
Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first-hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative silk therapeutics for osteoarthritis. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
Charter Member of the Year – Rishi Bhalerao
Rishi Bhalerao is responsible for Program Management and Operations at PatientsLikeMe (PLM), a free patient network and real-time health research platform. Previously, Rishi helped build PLM’s health-related wearables and biosensors offerings and he has been a frequent speaker on the topic of digital health at events such as TEDx, Yale Healthcare Conference, and MedicineX (Stanford). Most recently, Rishi delivered a keynote address at Health 2.0 Asia-Pacific.
Prior to joining PatientsLikeMe, Rishi spent several years as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and as an innovation consultant at Innosight, a firm started by Prof. Clay Christensen of the Harvard Business School. He earned an MBA from the University of Michigan and also holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from the University of Pune, and the University of Delaware.
Rishi is passionate about building high-performance teams and mentoring talent and looks forward to continued collaboration with TiE Boston.
Volunteer of the Year – Arjun Venkatachalam
Arjun Venkatachalam is a product manager at NxStage Medical and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2013. He is very passionate about healthcare and entrepreneurship as evidenced by his volunteer work with TiE and he hopes to make the jump to en