Friday, May 18, 2001

TiE-ing it all in for Tri-State Entrepreneurs

The rich, burgundy-paneled walls of one of Ernst & Young's conference rooms were a nice complement to the forest of dark blue suits swaying in the network dance. The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE) NY chapter hosted its first Technology Investor Forum of 2001 at the Ernst & Young offices on May 18th. This organization, chartered by entrepreneurs, corporate executives and senior professionals with roots or interest in the Indus region, has chapters across the United States and is focused on benefiting all entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs and professionals with an interest in entrepreneurship. This night's forum introduced three New York, tri-state region, high technology companies seeking early stage funding to potential investors. Upon arrival, Zero Stage Capital Principal Inder Soni offered me some fancy potato chips and told me that while the Silicon Valley and Boston chapters are quite active, they are trying to build up the New York chapter with companies focused on hard-core technology (as opposed to soft-core new media?). One of TiE's objectives is to encourage talented entrepreneurs to start their own companies instead of taking a job with a large corporation. Host for the evening, Ernst & Young Partner Kapil Jain, told me that they hope to have these events every four to six weeks in order to get entrepreneurs in front of early stage funds and investors. One of the presenters, NTTX business development director Rajiv Desai, told me about their trademarked product NeOObjects server. This wireless and web application allows companies to create their own portal through which you can connect directly to your desktop or LAN from standard mobile devices. NTTX's primary markets are the telecom, health care and financial industries. Transportation/logistics is a secondary market.

Marketing Technology Solutions Marketing VP Ram Rao and President Fouad ElNaggar spoke about their targeted marketing-services company. The company was founded in 1999 with $2 million Series A financing from Lazard Technology Partners. Rao and Fouad say they are confident about their product and services for the consumer packaged-goods and pharmaceutical direct-market industries. I met the third presenter, Inziogo's Mobeen Khan. Inziogo is a natural-language/speech product for call centers. Before I left, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison's Edward Reilly snapped a candid of me and some folks.