Washington, Apr 2 (PTI) The efforts of the local chapter of the TiE here to identify and groom the next generation of entrepreneurs has gained momentum with more than 100 college students pitching their innovative ideas and several top American companies coming out with their financial support and scholarship.
TiE DC University PitchFest, for students across Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, received applications from 104 students from 20 universities, its organisers said.
Some of the top ideas are in the field of healthcare, financial services and social empowerment.
'I am not surprised by the incredible response we've received for the 1st time effort as it just represents what many of us in this area already knew about the talent and opportunities that exist here in the DMV (DC/MD/VA) region,' said Ravi Puli, co-founder and chair of the TiE University Program at Washington DC Chapter of TiE, and co-chair of the global programme.
As a first-generation entrepreneur, Puli said mentoring, coaching and networking is essential for a startup business.
Through the programme, college students and recent graduates can find investors, collaborators, advisors and co-founders to help them on their entrepreneurial journey, he said.
Mahesh Joshi, co-founder and co-chair of the TiE DC University Program, exuded confidence that a local competition that provides mentoring and feedback, and then further follow up with participation in the global competition would boost the local DC entrepreneurship ecosystem and also allow for intercollegiate collaboration.
'The university entrepreneurial ecosystem has been a driving force of so much of the innovation we've seen in the last 50 years,' said Sumeet Shrivastava, whose Family Trust is a sponsor and is president and CEO of ARRAY. The top team from the DC chapter will be nominated to compete in the TiE Global competition on May 15.
According to Puli, the PitchFest has received support from more than 15 sponsors who are also supporting the programme with the time in addition to the money. He is also helping other chapters to adopt to the process and start the similar program and have been successful in helping multiple chapters in US and India.
'I am delighted to support the TiE University program. TiE University offers teams building companies around cutting edge universities, an opportunity to interact with successful entrepreneurs and potential investors in the region. I look forward to meeting some exciting startups,' said Rajesh Rai, board member, TiE DC and Venture Investor. PTI LKJ HMB