TiE turning immigrants into millionaires

Toronto: The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) in Canada is making its mark by turning struggling Indian immigrants into successful entrepreneurs.

Under its mentorship programme, TiE Toronto has turned million-dollar dreams of many budding entrepreneurs into reality. “Many of the entrepreneurs we have mentored for the past 10 have created multi-million-dollar companies in a matter of years,” TiE Toronto president Suresh Madan said.

Giving the latest example of successful entrepreneurs mentored by Indian techies, Madan said: “Just last November, Indo-Canadian Haroon Mirza sold his start-up Cognovision to Intel for $25 million. An engineering graduate, Mirza had a vision, but he didn’t know how to go about it.

“So he came to TiE in 2006 and our people guided him to set up his company. By 2010, he became a multi-millionaire when Intel bought his company.”

Cognovision, which created a unique software to measure customer attention span on a particular product while browsing in a superstore, was also chosen ‘Canada’s 2009 Innovation Leader.’

“Cognovision’s software helps advertisers and product companies to know which product is getting how much attention from customers,” Madan said.

According to him, another entrepreneur mentored by TiE has just sold his company – Ecologic Engineering – for eight million dollars. “Considering that two of the entrepreneurs mentored by us have sold their companies for millions in the last six months shows that TiE mentoring has been very successful in Canada.”

“At TiE, we – a group of successful entrepreneurs – have come together to give back to the community. Rather than donating at temples or charities, we have decided to do something practical to help budding entrepreneurs,” he said.

Currently, 75 TiE members are mentoring 400 budding entrepreneurs – more than 75 percent of whom are Indo-Canadians.

“At 40, when you land here as an immigrant, you either update your skills and join some job at the bottom or become an entrepreneur. That’s what TiE is teaching so that new immigrants become their own masters,” the TiE chief said. By Gurmukh Singh