The ecosystem that supports startups is undoubtedly vital for their success. Our November guest, Prashant Shah, plays a key role in this support system, growing entrepreneurship with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Silicon Valley chapter.

TiE is a global non-profit founded in 1992 by successful Indian immigrant entrepreneurs that sought to support other newcomers through mentorship, networking, education, incubation, and funding.

During his Startup Grind presentation, Shah shared information about Tie LaunchPad* and TiE Angels. TiE Angels funds a range of industries, with an emphasis on companies that have a good product fit for the market. For TiE Angel funding, the corporate team is very important. The founders must have “direct domain expertise” in the field.

When asked by the moderator how funders know what the hottest market trends are, Shah’s response was that funders don’t know. Funders share their most recent funding activities, but entrepreneurs are the ones that have their fingers on the pulse of the market. So, if you want to know what’s hot in the market, make sure to ask an entrepreneur, not a funder. When pressed by the audience on what the current funding trends from VCs and Angels are, Shah revealed that cyber security, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and management tools for artificial intelligence are the ones to look out for.

Toward the end of the evening, Prashant was asked to reflect on the potential effects of the election on Silicon Valley. He responded that foreign work visas are important for the growth of startups. If these visas are limited, it could absolutely create a barrier to the creation of new startups.

At the next Startup Grind event, we’ll be hearing from Bastin Gerald, founder of Apptivo. Apptivo has 175,000 customer across 194 countries. The CRM tool received PC Magazine’s “Editor’s Choice Award” for 2015 and 2016, and was also crowned the “Most Affordable CRM” by Capterra (A Gartner Company).

Gerald is a mechanical engineer by education and has worked on ERP projects at Oracle, including supply chain, financials, and PLM. While he was there, he wrote a book on the Oracle Supply Chain and Manufacturing. Gerald also has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Start the New Year with us at this event on January 31, 2017 to learn about cloud computing, software as a service, and entrepreneurship.

You’ll find us at EFI (6700 Dumbarton Circle, Fremont). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Get your tickets online here.

Stay informed on future events by visiting or by following us on Twitter @FremontGrind and Facebook at

*TiE LaunchPad is an accelerator/incubator and is currently closed to new applicants.

If you have any
question or suggestions for guest speakers, send an email to Shilpi Sharma,
Co-founder & CEO of Kvantum, and
Chapter Director for Startupgrind Fremont.