Sanjay Ahuja Shares the Benefits of TiE Atlanta’s Programs for Young Entrepreneurs

Recently, the Atlanta Small Business Network was on-location at TiECON Atlanta 2022 where anchor Jim Fitzpatrick spoke with Sanjay Ahuja, the CEO and Co-Founder at Intellekt AI, and TiE Atlanta board member.

Stay tuned for more coverage from TiECON Atlanta 2022!

Transcription:

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Thank you so much, Sanjay. Tell us all about today’s event.

Sanjay Ahuja:
Well, I think we are super excited about today’s event because one is, we have a record turnout. We have great speakers. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community. That’s really about TiE. Right? I’ve been on the board for about six years now, being in across chapters. The great thing about this event is that it connects just not about Atlanta community, but communities across the country and global. That’s the great thing about the event today.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right. How important is an organization like this to the entrepreneurial community here in Atlanta?

Sanjay Ahuja:
I think first advantage is that it actually fosters entrepreneurship in terms of teaches them a lot of the journey. We learn from failures, we learn from success. That’s a great thing about this thing. The second thing is that we actually provide education from high school kids onwards. To university and then to entrepreneurs, right? We really fostering entrepreneurship because that’s how innovation is going to come in. People want to disrupt today. They don’t want to go do just the same thing again, and again, again. I think with our little support, we think that we can do a lot, kind of make that disruption.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. For sure. For sure. Technology runs everything now as we know. You’re bringing these kids from high school.

Sanjay Ahuja:
Exactly, yeah. We’ve been running TiE, that’s what we call it as, right? For the high school. My son has run the whole program for two years, right? He was so knowledgeable after two years. His whole way of communicating, his way of pitching stories. That’s fantastic. That’s really changed him. I think it’s a great program for any kid in the high school program.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Now, TiE itself doesn’t fund these companies, right? Or start that. But they basically bring these people together, right? With the funding that might be out there.

Sanjay Ahuja:
That’s right. Basically funding happens in two senses, right? One is we have a TiE access program where we’ve actually picked up people from minorities, people who are really not getting the exact exposure, right? We are funding them. Right. The second is we are funding through our TiE Angels program. Anybody who’s looking at angel funding, we have a fund where we actually calibrate the companies and then fund them. These are two varies of doing it. But for the TiE and the kids, we run a fund where we actually give prices to the number one, number two, number three teams. Actually, some of them have actually turned out to be real companies.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow.

Sanjay Ahuja:
It’s just not a booking thing.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Not something? Yeah. Yeah.

Sanjay Ahuja:
It’s actually real. Right? I think that’s the key thing about our success.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure, sure. It’s probably tough for these kids to go on to college if they’ve got huge success coming out of high school, right?

Sanjay Ahuja:
I agree. But I think what happens is they can hone their skills as they move into college, right? Because they learn the basics, and then it actually allows them to make a decision in terms of which direction they know. Because high school kids are always confused. Should I take engineering? Should I take biology? Should I take this? I think some of this teaching which we do inculcate that confidence to them to make a quicker decision.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Tell us a little bit about your background.

Sanjay Ahuja:
Okay, Yeah. I’ve been in the corporate world, worked across AsiaPac, Middle East, Africa, and now us. I moved to the US about four and a half years back, and then I was basically doing consulting gigs. But through my consulting exercise, I realized that there’s a massive amount of challenge on the data side of the business, because I was on the AI’s business. Data is the ingredient to AI, right? Which is where I started my own journey as an entrepreneur. My company’s called as Intellect, which is really about intelligence from a data perspective. What we do is we actually help companies cleanse the data, prep the data, and ridge it for making quicker decisions.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. Okay.

Sanjay Ahuja:
We are very FinTech focused now, and we are a part of the ATDC incubator program. We’ve been galloping ahead month on month, year on year, on that program.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Wow. Data drives everything right now, doesn’t it?

Sanjay Ahuja:
Exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
I mean, it drives the economy.

Sanjay Ahuja:
Yeah. Because at the end of the day, take an example of unclean data, right? If you have unclean data, you might not go alone because you might be called out as a potential fraud. A lot of bad data can lead to bad business. Clean data actually improves the velocity of the business, and nobody wants to do that job. Right? Everybody wants to do this amazing AI stuff, but nobody wants to do their actual ingredient to get to the AI. That’s the key thing which we do.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s the magic sauce, right?

Sanjay Ahuja:
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. That’s awesome. Sanjay, thank you so much for spending some time with us.

Sanjay Ahuja:
Pleasure meeting you.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah, me too.

Sanjay Ahuja:
Thank you. Take care.


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