TiE Tampa To Launch Sister Organization For Women Entrepreneurs

Journalist Patti Tripathi, a former CNN News Group anchor and owner of TriPath Media, has agreed to lead TiE Tampa Bay's sister organization for women entrepreneurs, executives and startups.

Kunal Jain, president of TiE Tampa, asked Tripathi to "take the lead'' and grow the organization from its roots.

"Women have unique challenges,'' says Tripathi, when it comes to navigating the professional environment and balancing home and work life.

Tripathi, who couldn't speak English and had never seen a television at the age of 10, "aspired to be a TV news anchor, making a living speaking English.'' She credits her mother for being her "biggest cheerleader.''
The newly launched TiE Tampa sister group is tentatively called Saris to Suits in a nod to the name of Tripath Media's inaugural 2014 calendar. Sales of the calendar benefit shelters that help victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Tripathi explains, "Empowering and inspiring women is something that I truly believe in.''

Many details of the program have yet to be worked out, including a permanent name. The organization's direction is envisioned as evolving around what female members are interested in learning.

Topics for sessions are "up in the air, depending on the charter members and what they feel they want to gain from these events,'' Tripathi says. "If the group wants to hear from a certain CEO, or discuss a particular topic, I'll try to make that happen. Hopefully, as more women join and the group grows, we can learn from each other.''

Growing Locally

TiE Tampa is the sole state chapter, and Tripathi, who is based in Sarasota, hopes to expand both TiE and the sister organization throughout Florida.

"TiE is an amazing program,'' Tripathi says. TiE DC and TiE Boston are former clients of Tripathi's. TiE DC funded Tripathi's Fellowship at the University of Maryland Business School.

The local Tampa chapter of TiE now has 62 charter members. TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Global, has more than 13,000 members across 14 countries. The group fosters entrepreneurship across the world through mentoring, networking and education.

On the local level, the group places an emphasis on nurturing and growing business. At quarterly meetings, angel investors hear from local entrepreneurs who are seeking business funding -- in April 2013, four members of TiE Tampa invested in Feathr, a startup created by former University of Florida students Aidan Augustin and Neal Ormsbee.

Women who join the group will have access to the funding for their startups or small businesses as well, says Tripathi.

TiEcon Florida On Sept. 20

The group also hosts a variety of special events, conferences and business workshops, which are open to the public. The largest of these professional networking events in the state, TiEcon Florida, will be held on Sept. 20, 2013, at Safety Harbour Resort.

As a "fairly young chapter,'' TiE Tampa does not draw the crowds of Silicon Valley or New England chapters, Tripathi notes. It's likely that the sister organization's events will be combined with TiE events.

"We might be covering two topics at an event, or hold meetings every other month,'' she says.

At the last TiE Tampa event on Aug. 9, Tripathi's client, founder and CEO of V-Rooms Virtual Data Rooms, discussed secure document sharing. My Story by Dan Bradbary showcased software that allows individuals to revoke a user's access to an emailed document, even after it has been downloaded to their computer or mobile device.

"People who haven't heard of TiE have to go to a meeting to really see the amazing networking opportunity the organization provides to its members,'' says Tripathi.

Justine Benstead is a freelance writer who spends her days walking her dog Chloe in her South Tampa neighborhood, drinking far too much coffee, tweeting, and taking photos with her trusty Nikon. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.

Read more articles by Justine Benstead.

Justine Benstead is a feature writer for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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