Jordan Watters

CEO, Libre Technologies, Inc.

Founder, Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery

With 35 years of professional experience as an executive and officer managing technology companies, Jordan Watters now gets to enjoy (or rather work harder than before) managing two companies that he founded as CEO. Two businesses that couldn’t be more different from one another – a tech company and a craft distillery! Each of these provides him a unique outlet for his creativity around products and branding.

From his childhood years, Jordan has been inquisitive and loved to create and build things. His father, an accomplished engineer, was his encouragement and inspiration. And beyond that Jordan’s own fascination and curiosity about product designs and presentation led him to incorporate creativity in his ventures. He believes that great products are about the total ‘customer experience’.

During the early days of his career, as a young engineer in technical marketing, Jordan had an opportunity to meet, present and participate in meetings with top management at the Board Room level. From that point, Jordan knew that he was going to “travel in space” … not just be an executive. He wanted to make a greater impact and shape the business world differently as an entrepreneur.

Libre Wireless Technologies was founded by Jordan in 2013. The company provides technology solutions enabling voice and AI applications with unique embedded hardware and software. Its scalable platforms enable a host of diverse applications. Iron Wolf Distillery offers unique and diverse craft spirits – all hand crafted on location, in Spicewood, TX. A diverse collection of award-winning spirits – Bourbon, Gin, Vodka – is created from premium and natural ingredients and all imbued with an added touch of Texas.

“I have always set a very high bar for achievement. This is my ultimate driver. There is always doubt and failure, a common theme for any entrepreneur. But focusing on the milestones for my business gets me through my own doubts along the journey. I quote the famous Nietzsche … That which does not kill us makes us stronger! “

My advice to younger, upcoming entrepreneurs — “never give up, be nimble, smart and flexible. Passion is critical to your success.”

My advice to my fellow successful entrepreneurs and business executives – “Become more involved with the next generation of entrepreneurs, give back, invest in them, consult and guide them.”

“TiE Austin offers just this. I am able to meet and connect with a new set of very bright people and have been able to offer guidance to students and upcoming entrepreneurs through the chapter’s mentorship program,” Jordan Watters.

If you would like to be featured on TiE Austin’s Member Spotlight page,
please contact [email protected]

Georgina Elizondo

Chief Product Officer, Blended Sense

As a Chief Product Officer at Blended Sense, Georgina Elizondo is determined to influence and make a difference in creative professionals’ careers by connecting small business owners to creative talents. Blended Sense is A New Kind of Production company that helps build end-to-end content solutions with fresh digital content kits every month. The company is the first of its kind with a mission to transform the way creative goods and services are exchanged around the world.

Georgina’s entrepreneurial journey started through her career in creative photography running her own small content business. She was looking to pivot into the design and tech space. And that’s when fate brought her together with Albert and Abigail, her co-founders of Blended Sense. “It was a perfect next step for me to utilize my previous experience to make an entry into the technology space and still utilize my creative side.”

Having gone through both success and failure has made Georgina more passionate about her vision and mission. The most rewarding moment for her was beta release of the web app which she has designed and created for Blended Sense. “You will never find success if you don’t fail and pick yourself back up along the way,” says Georgina.

Georgina values TiE Austin in providing her connections with other like-minded people. She also thanks TiE Austin for the opportunities it provides to learn, educate, and grow within her own business domain. She hopes to get more involved and participate greater with TiE Austin and its offerings in the future.

Georgina’s advice to upcoming entrepreneurs is – “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lean on your advisors and team members. Surround yourself with people of all kinds of backgrounds and experiences. Lead by example. Establish and follow your core values, like you are following to head towards the north star!”  In her opinion, no one succeeds in business by standing alone.

Georgina is looking forward to growing Blended Sense and scaling the company product and offerings nationally over the next couple of years.

If you would like to be featured on TiE Austin’s Member Spotlight page,
please contact [email protected]

Tejal Shah Sahasrabudhe

Executive Director

Tejal has been the Executive Director with TiE Austin for 2 years now. She joined the chapter at the low point when it was in the doldrums, right after her short internship experience with Austin Technology Council. “Year 2020 has been much different. Not only I learned about entrepreneurship and business in general but also how rapidly businesses evolve at different stages,” Says Tejal, “I had to do this while learning proper business practices, at a very fast pace, and wearing & switching through a lot of hats. Thank you, TiE Austin.”

Tejal has an MBA from Concordia University, Austin. She has two children, enjoys experimenting cooking different cuisines and learning about different cultures that influence these cuisines.

Jo Anne Gibson

Associate

One of the key members of the TiE Austin team, Jo Anne was recruited by TiE Austin as an associate in February 2020. An entrepreneur herself, with experience having worked with small startups and growing businesses, Jo Anne came on board with strong communication skills and ‘zest’. Her enthusiasm made TiE Austin’s Young Entrepreneurs initiative launch easier. Her people skills are noteworthy – a very important skill that helped inspire students to start their journey towards becoming the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

“I love mentoring and guiding the younger generation as they explore their passions via startups,” said Jo Anne, “Both of my kids, ages 13 and 9, and myself, are entrepreneurs. I love helping my kids build their businesses and watching their eyes light up with excitement as they learn to be creators.

Sonali Khosla

Associate, Graphic Designer

Sonali, TiE Austin’s graphic designer was indispensable to the chapter’s new cohesive branding with her fresh and modern graphic designs. Her talent instituted TiE Austin in reintroducing the identity for Vive Les Femmes Entrepreneurs (VLFE) – the TiE Austin women program. Her design skills made the launch of the TYE initiative for the students and TiE Austin Angels program introductions possible with a strong and bold identity. Sonali holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I enjoy working as a graphic designer for TiE Austin. Design is something I have always been passionate about, and I love getting creative to bring different projects to fruition.”

Dana Wildeboer

Senior Director of Marketing, MassChallenge

Dana Wildeboer is a strategic and creative executive with more than a decade of experience supporting early stage startups and driving economic growth through ecosystem development. She leads marketing and community strategy at MassChallenge across the not-for-profit’s US programs and global lead gen initiatives. She is currently a TiE Austin Charter Member and helped lead the TiE Austin Pitch Competition in 2019.

Even though Dana has numerous years working with startups, she is actually not an entrepreneur, per se. Think of her more as a builder at MassChallenge – helping startups find the right missing pieces to reach that next bump up in growth. MassChallenge is a global, zero-equity, not-for-profit accelerator that mainly nurtures high-potential early stage startups across all industries. The thin red line in Dana’s career is being able to help bring wild and bold ideas to life for many of these entrepreneurs. Her superpower is to partner with bright, passionate creative thinkers that have dreams of reshaping the future, and then breathing life into their visions.

“I think too many entrepreneurs have decision whiplash which impacts the business outcomes and the team morale. Remain agile in your execution, but steadfast on your goal by giving it a minimum timeframe of 90 days to play out.”

Becoming a TiE Austin Charter Member seemed like a natural fit for Dana. She explains, “for me it was the opportunity to join a group of smart, like minded, goal oriented humans that want to create a better world. What better way to do that than by working on the TiE Austin Angels initiative, the funding, and syndication opportunities that surround it?” She also looks forward to being a part of TiE Austin’s Women’s initiative – Vive Les Femmes Entrepreneurs.

“I’ve been blessed to have the best female mentors in the innovation, startup, and ventures communities. They have all given me platforms to step up to the plate and grow.”

So what does the future hold for Dana? She’s looking forward to leading marketing efforts across all U.S. based accelerator programs and building world-class branding initiatives. In addition to her career goals, she also has a core set of beliefs that you have to leave room for yourself in life’s journey. She and her husband are also looking to adopt in the next 2-3 years. “We’re spending a lot of our energy on building our family,” says Dana, as she smiles warmly at the thought, “I’m a builder, remember!”

Regardless of what life throws at her, Dana is always redefining her definition of internal power, it could be hitting career goals, such as founding and leading a TEDx team, or hitting personal goals, like squatting over 700 lbs, or being a kidney cancer survivor. It is this kind of confident strength that entrepreneurs look for in a leader that can help them build their startups and help them create a better world.

If you would like to be featured on TiE Austin’s Member Spotlight page,
please contact [email protected]

Karthik Bhagavatula,

Sophomore, Shadow Creek High School

A sophomore at Shadow Creek High School, Karthik Bhagavatula is a TiE Austin’s student member and an intern. Even though Karthik is still in high school, he already has successful entrepreneurial skills under his belt. He and two other students created a business known as The Three MASK-eteers, and they 3D print high quality masks to help the immunocompromised stay safe during the pandemic.

(https://threemasketeers202.wixsite.com/masks) So far the response from the community has been nothing short of admiration. The Three MASK-eteers have been featured on numerous media outlets, social media shout-outs, and were even honored by Rep. Pete Olson, R-Houston. They also won the Ronald Powell Jr. Industrial Hygienist Award for outstanding achievement & innovation in occupational health and was recognized as GB Kid Preneurs By Greater Businesses of Pearland.

Karthik joined TiE Austin to help with his college ambitions and goals of learning coding, database maintenance, and analytics. “Here at TiE,” he said, “I am learning something with every small task that I am working on. I am able to explore new technology skills, plus earn volunteering hours.” Karthik is exploring computers and coding as part of an AP course, so when he found out about the TiE Austin’s developer internship position it seemed like a natural fit.

In addition to learning website development and maintenance, Karthik is also in the Boy Scouts, TSA Robotics Club, and high school band. He has a passion for learning new things, especially anything related to math and science, and he enjoys reading books and adding new collections to his library. Out of all the extra-curricular activities Karthik has been involved in, it is the Boy Scouts that has made a lasting impression on him. “Being a boy scout I follow the scouting principles. The skills I learned from scouting play a huge role in my academic, personality and my leadership skills.”

TiE Austin looks forward to working with Karthik , help expand his skill set, as well as help him grow his first business.

If you would like to be featured on TiE Austin’s Member Spotlight page,
please contact [email protected]