TiE-Boston, which celebrated its 20th anniversary at a black-tie gala attended by its founding charter members, past presidents and over 300 guests, bestowed its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, to entrepreneur and philanthropist Venkat Srinivasan, who has founded eight companies and is credited with creating 1,800 jobs and over $2 billion in value for shareholders.
TiE-Boston, which was founded in 1997 as TiE-Atlantic and is TiE Global’s second oldest and second largest chapter, also honored 13 other entrepreneurs in various categories. Eight entrepreneurs were awarded with the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award: Anil Agarwal, Veera Anantha, Nilanjana Bhowmik, Neil Chedda, Bhaskar Panigrahi, Ramji Raghavan, Jagat Sisodia and Satish Tadikonda.
The other awards were bestowed in the following categories: Distinguished Service to Philanthropy: Sekhar Naik; Health Innovator of the Year: Derek Haas; Rising Entrepreneur of the Year: Allis Tweed-Kent; Charter Member of the Year: Rishi Bhalerao; and Volunteer of the Year: Arjun Venkatachalam.
The gala also held a “Fireside Chat” between Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Venkat Srinivasan. The TiE-Boston Board awards the Lifetime Achievement Award when an individual has made a lasting impact in the business community, and a significant contribution to the success of TiE-Boston.
“Venkat embodies the true spirit of TiE by building good companies, empowering employees and entrepreneurs, and giving back to solve big problems and help society at large,” said TiE-Boston President Praveen Tailam. “He has been associated with TiE for a long time and has always inspired budding entrepreneurs by investing his time and capital, and is well-respected by fellow charter members for his philanthropic work.”
Santhana Krishnan, a fellow TiE-Boston Charter Member and Managing Partner of Om Ventures, introduced Dr. Srinivasan at the gala, saying that he admired him greatly for many things, including his passion to build companies with big disruptive ideas, commitment to giving back through mentoring entrepreneurs and philanthropy.
“Venkat has charted his own unique course all his life. He broke from traditional entrepreneurial paths and has had a very interesting and remarkable professional journey,” said Mr. Krishnan. “He came to the United States from India 35 years ago, to pursue his American dream.”
Mark Nunnelly, former Managing Director of Bain Capital and a close friend paid rich tribute to Srinivasan highlighting his many qualities as a remarkable entrepreneur who at the end has a deep desire to leave the world a better place than he found it. Ravi Ramamurti, a Northeastern University Professor and former colleague, observed how Venkat’s ability to work without functional boundaries was a key factor in his success.
Mr. Krishnan noted that Dr. Srinivasan received 3 professional degrees, spent 7 years in academics, becoming a tenured professor before he left Northeastern University. He wrote over 35 research papers, published three books, received seven patents, founded and sold four companies, and currently serves on the boards of six companies and three non-profit organizations. In addition, Venkat’s ventures have employed over 1800 people, and in the process, he has created a total value of over $2 billion for shareholders. Dr. Srinivasan has also recently founded EnglishHelper, KnowYourMeds and AIinGov, all of which are double bottom-line enterprises focused on education, health and the public sector respectively. He is a uniquely experienced individual with expertise in multiple functional areas. He is an expert in knowledge-based systems architectures, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, natural language processing, corporate finance and accounting.
Venkat and his wife, Pratima, are active in the community. He is a Vice-Chair of the American India Foundation (AIF), which is dedicated to catalyzing social and economic change in India. Srinivasan is also a Trustee of BUILD, a non-profit organization focusing on entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success in the U.S. He is a member of the Boston Harbor Now’s Advisory Board.
“I am honored and humbled that TiE-Boston selected me for this award,” said Dr. Srinivasan. “I salute TiE and the many Charter members for fostering entrepreneurship so passionately. Entrepreneurship is a key solution to society’s many challenges.”
Since 1997, TiE-Boston has been supporting entrepreneurs by offering education, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities. What makes TiE unique is that the organization connects entrepreneurs with each other and other stakeholders in the ecosystem, including seasoned serial entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, service providers, and early customers. TiE-Boston is a chapter of TiE-Global, the largest global not-for-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship. TiE-Boston members leverage the global network of members from 61 chapters in 18 countries. TiE has 12,000 members throughout the world, and has contributed over $250B in wealth creation. For more information, and to become a member of TiE-Boston, visit boston.tie.org.