With Over 50 Speakers and 400 Attendees, TiECON East Breaks the COVID Spell, Hosts a Successful In-Person Business Conference

A wrapped TiECON East audience during keynote. (Photo: Dyuti Majumdar)
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WALTHAM, MA—TiECON East, the largest entrepreneurial conference in New England, broke the COVID-19 pandemic spell in Boston and successfully held a day-long in-person conference, which attracted over 50 speakers and was attended by about 400 people.

TiECON East, which is organized by TiE Boston, was be held in-person on Oct. 1 at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA. All attendees were required to be fully vaccinated and to fully adher to the CDC health guidelines. Major sponsors of the conference included Amazon, Microsoft, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Arent Fox, Converge, Sittercity, Innospark, Thread Research, Progress and Embark.

“Holding an in-person TiECON 2021 was challenging due to COVID-19, but many thanks to our sponsors, speaker, attendees and volunteers who made this conference a huge success,” said Sanjay Jain, Co-Chair of TiECON East. “We were sold out one day prior due to our speakers line-up and safety protocol.”

Kiran Uppuluri, Chair of TiECON East and Founder and CEO of verteXD, said the success of the conference was the result of six months of immense work by the team and a labor of love.

“We applied our proven SCE Framework (Copyright verteXD) outline that takes a Human-centered design approach to the conference, and seeing it come to life felt great,” said Ms. Uppuluri. “We squarely focused the design on the customer facing the new reality – i.e. the Post-Pandemic world.”

From left to right: Sanjay Jain and Anu Chitrapu, TiE Women Entrepreneurs, and extreme right Kiran Uppuluri and Rama Ramakrishna)

She said the outcome was: a sold out conference, fantastic sponsors, a wrapped audience for the entire day, and a series of “aha” moments hearing from 55 thought leaders and innovation experts presenting never before seen or heard content.

“Safety was paramount and we thank all our attendees for adhering to the policies we put in place,” said Ms. Uppuluri.

Anu Chitrapu, President of TiEBoston, the organizer of TiECON East 2021, said the conference was hugely successful.

Anu Chitrapu


“Our keynote speaker, Rohit Prasad, had us on the edge of our seats as he gave us a sneak preview of what is coming with Alexa,” said Ms. Chitrapu. “Reshma Shetty inspired us with her mission driven journey to building Ginko Bioworks. Our carefully curated panels kept the day exciting and extremely relevant. Ending the day on a high note with the winners of the women’s pitch competition presenting their pitches was both interesting and inspiring.”

Rohit Prasad giving keynote at TiECON East (Photo: Dyuti Majumdar)

Mr. Prasad is Senior Vice President and Head Scientist at Amazon Alexa, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) service that powers Amazon’s family of Echo products, Amazon Fire TV, and third-party products. He leads research and development (R&D) in AI technologies aimed at making interaction with Alexa a magical experience for customers.

Ms. Shetty is Co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. Spun out of MIT, Ginkgo’s mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Started in a Cambridge, MA, apartment, Ms. Shetty has helped to grow the company to over 500 people. Ginkgo’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to agriculture to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine manufacturing and therapeutics discovery.

“Safety was paramount in the conference. Only 100% vaccinated people were allowed to attend. In fact, we had to decline some attendees and speakers who could not comply with this requirement,” said Ms. Chitrapu. “Our swag bag had a pack of 5 Anti-Viral masks so attendees could change their masks as needed and individual hand sanitizer bottles. It was this attention to safety that gave our attendees confidence.”

Kiran Uppuluri


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