Moving to Austin, Texas and taking on the challenge of starting her own venture was a defining moment for Bonnhi. She came here with no connections, no prior knowledge of the city, or direction as to what she wanted to do with her skills. She took time to do research and figure out where she could apply her talents. Becoming an entrepreneur was the next step of her career. It was a key leap.
As an Intelebee partner, Bonnhi was closely involved in the development of the Proof of Concepts and Business Model to facilitate and implement client solutions. As a business analyst, her experience in IT management with reputable companies in varied industries was valuable as she made transition into Consulting and Services. She truly believes in the “power of a team” to achieve a determined mission. She gets inspired by her own journey and the challenges faced each day, to build success and achieve maximum potential.
“I don’t believe in failures; I believe that one can either succeed or learn.“
According to Bonnhi, TiE Austin provided her a platform to meet a group of extremely talented and enthusiastic group of individuals. “I would like to thank TiE Austin for giving me an opportunity to grow, learn and share. It is the feeling of being uplifted and empowered.”
Bonnhi Chowdhury is an active member and was recently elected as one of Board of Directors of the TiE Austin chapter. “It has been an extremely enriching experience so far to interact with some of the greatest entrepreneurial minds in Central Texas. “
To fellow entrepreneurs …
… she would like to share from her own experiences of setbacks or “hiccups”. They are more like speed bumps that slow you down. Many times within her own business, there would be moments of emotion when things did not execute the way they had been expected to. Looking back on those moments, she wishes she had kept her cool and kept chugging forward. Perseverance always pays off, especially through times of frustration!
… And she would like to advise that entrepreneurs become a part of the TiE Austin family… “no matter what your expertise in the business world, TiE welcomes you to its community and can expose you to new developments every day. By being part of TiE Austin, you will get access to invaluable resources and a group of entrepreneurs who will guide and support you at all stages. “
Founder & CEO
Ten Eleven Twelve
He is a “geek”!
Simpson started his business journey with his hands on the keyboard configuring servers, databases, and eventually website development. As he progressed in his career, he had the opportunity to lead a team, and VOILA, he had ‘found his new puzzle’ – people!
He quickly learned that he enjoyed building groups of folks and winning as a team much more than solving technical puzzles. Thus he branched past just technology to focus on the customer and larger business. He moved from corporate executive to coaching and consulting.
Ten Eleven Twelve, Will’s coaching and consulting company – leverages Agile and Lean philosophies for companies and executive teams to move change forward by taking them out of their comfort zone. In addition to these services, the company offers a wide range of fractional and interim executive services.
Will’s inspiration always came from home – his children and his wife. He always tries to take a breath and avoid finding the faults in others, in spite of it being challenging at times. “Learning comes from failure so I remind myself that this is a new opportunity not the end. It is important for each person to build out their own framework for a fail/learn loop. A key for me is to keep this loop as short as possible,” says Will Simpson.
In a very short period of Will’s association with TiE Austin as a charter member, he is appreciative of networking, speaking and facilitation opportunities that the organization has provided him with. He would like to be actively involved with TiE by helping and guiding the next generation of entrepreneurs. His advice to them is to remember that we are always better interacting with a diverse group of people. “Find and talk to folks who are not the same as you. Never stop learning and never settle for the status quo.”
For Will, Integrity in all things is a non-negotiable principle and informs all other aspects of his business!
Founder & Creative Director, Malleret Designs
Malleret Designs was founded 19 years ago focusing on social and corporate events including weekly floral arrangements for homes and offices. Now there is also a concierge planning service added to the list of services that the company provides. Malleret custom tailors each event for its client, not only in the USA but also internationally. When she decided to take this risk by starting an event design company, it was to realize and fulfill her dreams of being an entrepreneur.
Marcela aims to capture the feeling of recalling “something cherished” through every event. She executes at a high level, but she always keeps the logistics on task, and every detail is kept on target and on budget.
“From architecture, art, fashion to nature I look at things completely different,” says Marcela Bogado. “I’m passionate about learning from experience. I do take mistakes, doubts as an opportunity to analyze how it could be done differently and educate myself for the next time around, to do it right. There is always a learning opportunity, we constantly learn from our piers.”
Almost a year ago, Marcela joined TiE Austin as a Charter Member. She wanted to meet the community of entrepreneurs with rich and diverse background from whom she can learn from and network with. She hopes to share her journey as a minority woman entrepreneur and continue to inspire and support others with their own individual and personal journeys.
Her advice to fellow entrepreneurs: “Surround yourselves among other entrepreneurs and mentors who can guide you and share their experiences with you, even if they are from different industry. Teamwork, accountability, commitment, grit and compassion are all very important but always put customers first.”
“TiE Austin opens up opportunities for me to give back to my community, teaching others to do what I love the most – create and design innovative solutions for our customers through events.”
Shrini’s background is in technology. After securing his Master’s degree from Kansas State University, in Computer Science, his work path included consultancy helping large corporations such as Accenture and Deloitte working on major and important accounts at Federal and State Government levels and Department of Defense. In 2006, since he moved to Austin from DC, he has never considered to relocate again, that is moving away from the Live Music Capital of the US.
“I enjoy working on different investment options – startups, real estate, stocks,” says Shrini. “Right commercial investments at right times can be very lucrative.” He uses this advice for himself as an investor and has been able to grow diversifying into much larger projects.
Shrini finds his inspiration from a natural curiosity – constantly learning new skills and coming up with different ideas. This is what made him walk away from the ‘golden parachute’ in his previous consulting job and find his wings to fly as an entrepreneur. “I always take responsibility for my own actions and try not to repeat it.”
Since his membership with TiE Austin, he’s met many ‘like-minded’ individuals and have been able to exchange many ideas. This is what he likes about the TiE. “You, yourself, have to take initiative in seeking out the right contacts from within the TiE community. TiE provides the platforms and opportunities, but then it’s up to you.”
Shrini is an active charter member of TiE Austin and he is constantly encouraging others to get involved with the chapter. He is a part of the TiE Austin Angels initiative taskforce since the start. His advice to other entrepreneurs — “Believe in yourself and do not look to others for affirmation. It does not matter how many times you fail, if you try enough, you will succeed. Be persistent.”
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.
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.
Tejal Shah Sahasrabudhe
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
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.
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.”
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.