I Went to TiECon!
This post is coming a little later than usual, but I had to deal with some personal stuff, so, unfortunately, no post went out on Saturday or Sunday. I am doing one today! I want to talk about my experience with TiECon 2019! I wasn't actually supposed to go to TiECon this year. I was supposed to start my 9-5 gig that week and it was the reason I didn't go to Michigan to celebrate my niece's birthday. Some plans fell through that Friday and a friend of mine had an extra ticket to TiECon so I went and I am so glad I did!
What is TiECon?
TiECon is this amazing networking conference out here in Atlanta. It's sponsored by TiE Atlanta (and other organizations) which is an amazing organization that fosters entrepreneurship. They provide mentors and offers angel investing to many startups. I am a proud member of TiE Atlanta and I have networked with so many amazing people there. This was my first time attending TiECon and it definitely won't be my last! The theme this year was Built in Atlanta and the keynote speakers were all successful entrepreneurs who are all "made in Atlanta". The conference took place in the absolutely gorgeous Crowne Plaza Ravinia at Perimeter (traffic is notoriously terrible there and I was absolutely shocked I was there within 45 mins) The morning started off with registration and breakfast (I did not know there was going to be breakfast but I had a yogurt parfait and some eggs anyways) and after I met with some pretty cool entrepreneurs we were all ushered inside for the morning welcome and keynote speakers.
What was it all about?
After the brief introductions by TiE's executive director Amyn, and CFO Pete. We were introduced to the MCs of the day Jim and Bridget Fitzpatrick, founders of JBF Media who then introduced and welcomed by the mayor of Dunwoody, Denis Shortal. After the amazing and funny welcome (apparently, he cleared the traffic just for us that morning LOL), we had our first keynote speakers, Kathryn Petralia and Robert Frohwein of Kabbage. Their business helps small businesses get the funding they need by offering a line of credit for up to $250,000. What really interested me was they talked about how each company needs a brand storyteller.
Bridget and Robert showed us a before and after of how their powerpoints used to look like before they realized they needed a good graphic designer to make them pop for VCs. This really resonated with me as someone who works in branding and marketing. It's sometimes frustrating to get people to realize how important it is to invest in their brand. For them to say this in a ballroom filled with entrepreneurs was awesome. They also talked about how finding the right co-founder is like finding the right partner for marriage. They will experience the good, bad, and the downright ugly with you. I don't have a co-founder (I might want to have one in the future, cause you never know), but I might hire a team and figuring out who I want in my business permanently, will be a feat for sure!
After that talk, we went to our breakout sessions. I went to the Pitch Perfect session, which was all about how to pitch for a VC firm. All of the speakers in this talk were talking about how important it is to tailor your emails to your audience. As someone that pitches all day, every day this was invaluable information. Making sure you do your research is also another huge takeaway I got from this.
They served lunch after this talk (salad, vegetables, some fish, and cheesecake!) I loved the lunch panel conversation after I got my lunch. This panel featured David Cumming from Atlanta Tech Village, Hala Moddelmog from Metro Atlanta Chamber, Michael Tavani from SwitchYard and John Yates from Morris, Manning, and Martin. This was an amazing conversation, and one particular question that was asked to this group was their thoughts on millennials. Most of them said they LOVED working with millennials they just shouldn't expect a promotion every six months. LOL.
We had another breakout session, and I went to the innovation in Atlanta, one of the speakers there was Mahesh Gupta, General Manager of AI COE and Innovation at Delta Airlines who told us all to attend their open walkthrough at Delta. The rest of this conversation wasn't that memorable.
You can either control your future or it's going to control you!
- Bob Nardelli
We had a brief break in the schedule which I took some time to call my family and a prospect who wanted to call me back as a client of hers walked through her store. There were some snacks and GIGANTIC cookies which I took home with me and ate some of them yesterday. They were delicious! I caught up with another CEO who I worked with closely in the past and after that, we got our closing keynote speaker Bob Nardelli. He was an absolute joy to watch him speak. One of the biggest takeaways I took from that speech was that "You can either control your future or it's going to control you!" I really loved that, and you might see this on my Instagram page soon.
He also talked about how important it was to protect your intellectual property. Apparently, he was ripped off, and China stole some of his data. When asked what he wants to be remembered for, Bob answered that he would like to be remembered for someone that created an impact for businesses and gave back to the community in each role he served as CEO for. I loved this answer, especially from someone as seasoned as him.
In the end, they gave out awards to the best TiE business, and I am happy to say there were at least a couple of women given awards this year! It was so nice to see how businesses flourished with TiE's help and continue to grow in Atlanta and the rest of the world! I did not stay for the post-reception (I wish I did, looking back on it), but it was a fantastic event overall. 10/10 will come back next year.
Are you an entrepreneur in the Atlanta area?
I cannot say enough good things about TiE Atlanta. I have met so many amazing entrepreneurs there and continue to network with different people each time I go to the monthly meetings. Interested? You can become a member of TiE here or just come to the monthly events. Check the calendar and meet me there!
I am not in the Atlanta area, how can I be a member of TiE?
TiE has a BUNCH of charters all across the nation and the world! The biggest one is in Silicon Valley. Even if you can't meet me in the Atlanta events you can still find ones that are just as good in your area!