American Bazaar summit brainstorms entrepreneurship
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More than a dozen entrepreneurs, top executives and fund managers attended the American Bazaar Entrepreneurship Summit held in Washington, DC, on April 25.

The event brought together some of the most industrious and analytical minds from the business sector, both domestic and international, to advise the gathered audience on how to further their own entrepreneurial goals.

The summit was sponsored by, among others, Turkish Airlines, India.com and Wells Fargo.

Watch the video of the panels

The day-long event, which attracted more than 200 delegates, featured a number of panel discussions on a variety of topics, such as leveraging technology and social media to grow ventures, women entrepreneurs, bootstrapping and scaling and raising capital.

See a photo feature on the AB Summit

The first panel, titled “Technology and social media: how they impact your venture,” was moderated by Kamini Ramdeen, editor of Brown Girl Magazine and content editor for India.com, and combined the experience of Shukoor Ahmed (founder and CEO, V-Emower Inc.) and Trisha Sakhuja  (content manager, India.com).

The two spoke of social media’s impact on startup ventures and reviewed how social media — specifically Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn — are crucial to expanding a brand name in the modern landscape of business.

The second panel was moderated by Satyam Priyadarshy (Chief Data Scientist, Halliburton; President-elect, TiE DC) and had Nadia Ayoubi (President, Hummingbirds Consulting) and Smita Siddhanti (President, EnDyna, Inc.) speaking in a segment called, “Women in business: challenges and opportunities.”

Ayoubi primarily spoke of how she grew her business and how she established a partnership with her husband, who inspires her and vice-versa. Priyadarshy and Ayoubi both touched on the social constraints and difficulties for women of Asian origin to maintain a blanace between work and their family.

Panel three was moderated by Trisha Sakhuja, who formerly spoke on a panel herself, and featured Zia Islam (founder and CEO of Zantech), Sanjay Mittal (CEO, eHealthObjects Inc.), and Venkat Subramanian (founder, President & CEO, ANGARAI). Together, the three chief executives covered the “A to Z of government contracting business.” The overarching message was that hopeful contractors had to be opportunistic and keep up steady results, perhaps as a subcontractor at first.

The penultimate panel, titled, “Bootstrapping and scaling: growing a business from ground to the top,” brought Praba Murugaiah (Founder and CEO, TechFetch.com), Sumit Bhatnagar (Managing Partner, GreenBrilliance), and Shameem C. Hameed (founder and CEO, ZH Healthcare) together in a segment moderated by Rokas Beresniovas (Vice President, Business Development, State Bank of India-California).

All three panelists started their businesses in 2007, just before the crash, and emphasized the need for a solid support system at the office and at home as well as the perseverance to  make mistakes and learn from them.

The final panel, ” Accessing capital: seed, venture, federal and city funding,” presented Rey Ramsey (Managing Partner, Fourth Sector Capital; Senior Advisor, Opterna International), Rodney Lake (Chief Investment Officer, The Benval Group, Washington, DC, and Senior Investment Officer, George Washington University Endowment), and Satyam Priyadarshy (Chief Data Scientist, Halliburton; President-elect, TiE DC). It was moderated by Venky Raghavendra (Senior Director – Philanthropy & Development, American India Foundation), who was also serving as the master of ceremonies for the day.

The trio spoke of presenting an “air of inevitability” when projecting an attitude about any startup and how important pitches are. Pitches must be exciting and a startup’s founder has to be able to present the value of their proposition clearly. The panelists explained the three major sticking points of any young startup and its viability to investors are: will it disrupt the market, where is the pivot, and why should funders choose it over any others?

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