TIE Entrepreneurial Summit 2007 – The inside scoop

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I wanted to try and live blog through the event, but they didnt consider putting up wifi access for the attendees. What type of an IT event full of bloggers (or atleast one) forgets to put up wifi?

The summary of TES2007 in Lahore goes somewhat like this: Go read the coverage of TIECon2007 in Karachi.

This is because the actual sessions in the event were pretty much a carbon-copy save for a few more speakers. It was the same set of successful speakers including Dr. Akram Chowdry, Saqib Sherazi, Zohair Khaliq, Monis Rehman, Kewan Khwaja and others, with pretty much the same basic messages – Saqib’s “resources not currently under your control” anecdote, Mobilink’s 10-year incubation stage, Monis’s road of self-discovery towards online job boards.

Dont get me wrong – these speeches are not necessarily bad, but they are perhaps geared for a different target market.

Read more for more thoughts.

When you advertise something as an “entrepreneurial summit” that VC Companies from all over the world (Malaysia, Silicon Valley, UAE etc) are attending, I would think you should expect entrepreneurs in the crowd who dont need a push to start.

So one of the themes I picked up on was that a number of speakers were assuming that the crowd was largely students and other people from LUMS who still wanted encouragement on entrepreneurship, rather than a more practical discussions on how to take on any plans.

The second theme that was also picked up during TIECon was that there was a disconnect with the content of the success stories with the entrepreneur in the field living it. The problem is that in nearly all of the examples the speaker companies were able to make it through a certain priviledged access because of their backgrounds or locations that an average guy here may or may not have.

Anyway, other than these three themes reoccuring from TIECon, it wasnt all like this – there were some pretty smart sessions and discussions and breakout sessions as well.

Of particular note was the session on “Governments support to Entrepreneurs” where TIE was able to bring together the heads of major organizations in one place, including Mr. Yusuf Hussain (PSEB), Dr. Qassim Shiekh (National ICT R&D Fund), Mr. Rizwan A. Shiekh (Chairman, PITB) and Dr. Aamir Matin (Former MD PSEB). This “meeting of minds” straight with the average joe was appreciated (not to mention used to slam a charge-sheet against those depts for not hearing public complaints).

Overall, this turned out to be a decent conference for networking and meeting people. More details in other posts

Facebook comments:


  • I second Osama on this post. The new people should be introduced rather then “re-telecating” the old serials :)

  • Would you care to add something about customers being the immediate and short term source of much needed cash, validation and self assurance that you are on the right track. Versus VC’s plausible deniability?

  • Yes – a number of the panelists echoed that same view… namely Naeem Zafar from Concordia Ventures who said that one of the big problems of entrepreneurs is that they’re targeting investments as their big goal, when they should be finding customers.

    My thoughts on this is that just like writing down a killer idea on a paper napkin isnt worth much until you actually begin to build the product / business and suffer the pain of reality checks, creating an excel sheet with an arbitrary forecast where you’re guessing how the product will sell isnt worth much until you are able to close some accounts.

    Thats been the thesis of Green & White all along – a “product” is “what someone will pay you for” and building the product is thus inherently iterative and involves customers

  • TiE is also going to organize a workshop in Islamabad by Mr. Naeem Zafar who is a successful entrepreneur and Professor at University of California Berkeley.
    For more Info Please visit

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