Youth Track at TiE Inflect 2018 in Silicon Valley
Some young enterprising startup founders from Silicon Valley were featured at last year’s TiE Inflect 2018. Here’s the article from IndiaAborad magazine.
Chief executive teens and youthful founders provide next school of thought
By Viji Sundaram,
May 11, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — They came all spruced up, looking cool and “lit,”as they would say, to the TiE Youth Track on the second day of The Indus Entrepreneurs convention here, to show that despite their youth, they had a head start in the world of entrepreneurial leadership.
Nearly a dozen teenagers with titles adults traditionally have to earn through years of hard work — chief executive officer and president among them — strutted their business acumen and entrepreneurial achievements with aplomb. Many came dressed like pros. Nearly all of them had a philanthropic streak.
There was Aditi Bagepalli, 15, a 10th-grader at Dougherty Valley High in San Ramon, California, whose business card identifies her as the founder of Will Be There Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on teenage issues and leadership.
“Growing up, I saw problems [among my peers] dealing with academic stress and lack of self-confidence,” Bagepalli said.
“I felt I had to do something to help them.” Bagepalli’s caring has even reached India. She has raised money to build toilets for girls, help the poor get cataract surgery and hospitals get medical supplies. Both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have recognized her volunteer spirit.
Arnav Bindra, also 15, and founder of Arnav Kicks, said he developed a passion for shoes while playing basketball.
The Mission San Jose freshman covets sneakers, like the Kanye West Yeezy brand. He buys them through social media platforms and sends them to consignment shops in Los Angeles and New York. The shops take their 20 percent commission and he gets the market value for them.
Bindra said his dad loaned him $2,000 as seed nearly two years ago. He currently has $80,000 in assets, he said.
Much as he likes raking in the bucks, Bindra is mindful of those who have to make do with very little. He recently donated 10 percent of what he made to a homeless shelter in the Tri-City area.
At 13, Apoorva Panidapu has already laid claim to a “founder” title.
A winner of a number of student art contests and the recipient of two Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, she has instructed that all the money she raises through her online portal, Apoorva Panidapu’s Art Gallery, go directly to starving children in Africa, administered through Save the Children.
The youngster is also passionate about mathematics. She was recently nicknamed “human calculator” while she was competing in a Bay Area-based NBC affiliate show called “Genius Junior.”
Other teens showcased their achievements.
Nihal Deopura and Vansh Gupta said they believed their platform, DigEthnic, would revolutionize the publication industry; Sanil Chawla talked about his non-profit called Hack + that helps students start businesses and non-profits.
Anya Shrivastava, founder of CropDrop, proudly presented her online marketplace for unmarketable goods that matches consumer demand with the supply in order to curtail food wastage; Taarini Dang , 13, a student in Silicon Valley, is a venture fellow at SoGal Ventures, which is the world’s first female millennial-led cross-border VC firm investing in diverse startups.
Dang is the youngest person to win the Young American-Indian Award which she received from the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna.
She is the author of a book “The Young Aspiring Entrepreneur.”