This past weekend Symba received the TiE20 award. This award recognizes a small group of Top 20 Early Stage Startups from among hundreds of nominees in the tech industry. Symba was selected as one of the Top 20 early-stage startups and invited to receive the award at the annual TiECon Detroit, hosted by the Detroit chapter of TiE.
TiE is an international nonprofit that brings together a global community of entrepreneurs. TiE is also well-known for hosting TiECon SV, the world’s largest entrepreneurship focused conference.
On top of this incredible recognition, we also had the chance to pitch Symba to other entrepreneurs and industry executives at TiECon Detroit. Here is a glimpse of our experience at TiECon Detroit and our top 5 takeways:
1. Connecting with Inspiring Entrepreneurs
At TieCon Detroit, we met other entrepreneurs who were solving interesting problems from all around the Midwest and East Coast. These startups represented a range of industries including fintech, blockchain, and healthtech.
One notable company that stuck with us was working on flying cars to help with daily commutes. Meeting fellow entrepreneurs and having a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem is very important for any region to breed companies that will have an impact in the world. Being a member of a startup community motivates entrepreneurs and can serve as a valuable tool to network.
At the conference, we saw the traction and growth in the startup ecosystem in Detroit. The conference repeatedly spoke to the value and importance of the startups in the region for the economy’s health and future. As entrepreneurs, we have the power to create jobs, attract talent and do good with our startups. Some of the startups in the region doing great things that we had the opportunity to meet were:
1. PassageX: Blockchain technology for fraud-proof ticketing and payments
2. Fincura: Automated portfolio management monitoring
3. MedKairos: Technology for faster and more accurate biopsies
4. Detroit Flying Cars: You guessed it! The vehicle for driving AND flying (AKA the future)
5. TheraB Medical: Technology to change phototherapy
You can check out the other startups here.
2. Learning From Trailblazers
In addition to meeting fellow entrepreneurs, we had the opportunity to listen to leaders. One of the most memorable speeches for us was the keynote speaker, Mina Sooch, CEO and co-founder of Ocuphire Pharma, a new biopharmaceuticals company focused on developing and commercializing small molecule drugs for unmet medical needs in the ocular disease space. Mina Sooch attended Harvard Business School (HBS) before founding Gemphire Therapeutics, ProNAI Therapeutics, and Apjohn Ventures Fund. Her journey of starting her own private companies and how she was able to successfully make her ventures public was motivating to listen to. With less than one percent of companies in the USA that are publicly traded, this is an outstanding accomplishment.
3. Practicing our Pitch
At TieDetroit, all 20 startups took the stage to pitch. Practicing our formal pitch on stage in front of an audience is always extremely valuable. We had a chance to see how other founders share their brilliant ideas with the world and how we can improve our own message delivery. As founders of an early stage company, we are always learning and growing.
4. Celebrating Symba’s Accomplishments
Launching a startup is filled with many exciting ups and downs. Receiving this award was an important milestone for our team to reflect on the great work that we are doing and our accomplishments. Team morale and positive momentum are key ingredients for a startup’s success. Although an award is not a direct measurement of a startup’s success, it definitely has many major positive impacts.
5. Growing our Ecosystem
Leaving TiECon Detroit, we walked away with valuable relationships in the startup ecosystem. TiECon Detroit introduced us to important mentors, and potential investors and customers. We had insightful conversations and were grateful for the chance to meet all who attended.
Thank you TiE for the award, and congratulations to the other winners of TiE20.