New Entrepreneur Support and Training (NEST ) - Mentoring Program

TiE NEST is a mentoring program, which helps a new entrepreneur find a mentor who will provide guidance based on his or her experience to help achieve the entrepreneurs’ stated goals and objectives. We believe that timely involvement of individuals who have ‘been there’ can significantly increase the possibility of success.

Who is a mentor?
A mentor is a person with more experience in business, or simply in life, who can help an entrepreneur hone their abilities and advise them on navigating new challenges. A mentor can be a boon to an entrepreneur in a broad range of scenarios, whether the mentor provides pointers on business strategy, bolsters the entrepreneur’s networking efforts or acts as a confidante when the entrepreneur’s work-life balance gets out of sync.

What does this mean to TiE?
For TiE, Mentoring is a critical activity that helps us to deliver on our mission to promote entrepreneurship. The TiE mentoring program draws its strength by bringing together mentors from around the world who are dedicated to mentoring and fostering a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. Through mentoring, these individuals are provided a way to give back to society in general and the entrepreneurial community in particular.

What is the process?

How to apply?
Fill the Mentee Application Form provided here.

Partial List of Mentors

  • Sonu Aggarwal, CEO, UnifySquare

Sonu Aggarwal is the CEO of UnifySquare, Inc, a leading Services and Solutions provider in the Unified Communications space for global enterprises. Prior to founding Unify2, Sonu was the Director of Program Management/Group Program Manager for the Office Communications Server team at Microsoft, where he drove the roadmap, technical feature set, and execution for the OCS Server product line including Live Communications Server 2005, Office Sonu Aggarwal is the CEO of UnifySquare, Inc., a leader in addressing enterprise strategy, architecture, and deployment needs for Microsoft Unified Communications. Previously, as a Director within the Unified Communications group at Microsoft, he was responsible for coordinating the roadmap, feature set, and execution for all aspects of Microsoft's Office Communications Server. Sonu co-invented the first-ever enterprise IM technology as co-founder and COO of Flash Communications, which was acquired by Microsoft to seed its efforts in Real-Time Collaboration. He has been involved with the RTC space almost continuously since. Sonu has a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Eric Fry, Principal, OneAccord

Eric Fry is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and a member of the Institute for Management Consultants (IMC). He is an inspirational leader with 25 years or successful business development, leadership, executive coaching and consulting to management. His career includes work in wholesale, retail, distribution, manufacturing and professional services. He is a principal at OneAccord Partners LLC a national consulting firm based in Bellevue WA that specialized in revenue acceleration through interim and project engagements. He is most noted for his strategic planning and implementation which typically results in double digit increases in revenue. In addition he is a well respected coach that helps leaders and managers improve individual and collective productivity through personalized empowerment programs.

  • Ivan Braiker, Chief Executive Officer, Hipcricket

Ivan has been a force for change in media and marketing for decades.Ivan began his 30 years in broadcast media as an account executive with a CBS television affiliate in Las Vegas, but soon became co-owner and operator of a radio station there. In 1976, he took a position heading Belo Broadcasting’s radio division, where he was recognized as a successful major-market General Manager.He later co-founded and was president of Satellite Music Network, the first radio network to distribute live, 24-hour programming via satellite – an innovation that earned him Billboard Magazine’s “Trendsetter of the Year” award.In the interim, he built a series of radio networks, starting with Olympia Broadcasting, which became one of the first publicly-held radio groups. When Ivan got there, it was a single station; when he left, it held a 15-station portfolio with presences in eight key markets. He subsequently co-founded and served as president of New Northwest Broadcasters, which grew under Ivan’s leadership to hold more than 40 stations. His reputation for leadership has earned him the respect of an entire industry. He is a frequent speaker at many advertising and media events, including conferences held by the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau.

  • Michel Gaultier, Principal, Ernavon

Michel Gaultier has 30 years of international experience in technology companies, from the very early-stage to $500 million operations. He is currently leading a venture promoting a secure electronic payment system. Michel has a strong background in corporate finance, business development and capital markets, including M&A transactions and venture capital. Having been four times CEO of technology startups, he focuses on building teams, taking center stage in executive hiring. He has remained involved in business education, lecturing in Business Schools in France and the US, on Financial Analysis and International Strategic Alliances.He holds a Masters in Economics and an MBA, with a major in Finance and Marketing, both from the University of Paris, France.

  • Alan Hallberg, Partner, Trilian Securities

Alan Hallberg brings over 20 years of diverse banking, corporate and business development experience. Spanning money-center banks to privately-held ventures, Hallberg has raised or has helped raise close to $3 billion in equity and debt capital. Outside of banking, Hallberg has held positions directing M&A execution for a private company controlled by Eagle River; headed corporate and international development for a public fixed wireless company in the Seattle area; and led the business development efforts to stabilize a high profile media and communications project in Seattle. Alan is a co-founder and director of Triliad Securities, LLC, a NY-based securities firm specializing in middle market corporate finance and M&A. Additionally, he is on the board and credit committee of Commerce Bridge Company, a Seattle-area company actively engaged in providing debt capital to high-growth companies on the West Coast. He holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and the following securities licenses: Series 7, 24, 28 and 63.

  • Nathan Rothman, CEO, Optimum Energy

 Previously, he served 20 years as the president of a privately held company, whose shareholders comprised executives of Fortune 500 companies, a U.S. top ten bank and other international financial funds and merchant banks. His firm structured, financed, built and managed “green field” manufacturing plants for its clients around the world. Prior to that, Nathan founded and held the position of President of Valiant Yacht Corporation. The Valiant 40 was awarded the “Product of the Decade” by the pleasure boat industry. Nathan is an alumnus of Northwestern University and Illinois Institute of Technology. Nathan is a Certified Business Energy Professional.


  • Vaughan Emery, CEO, Centri Technolgies

Mr. Emery is the CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. Previously, he founded mForce Mobile, a mobile entertainment content delivery company with customers in the largest markets in Asia. Prior to mForce, he was the CEO of Flytrap Security, a mobile security technology company which develops advanced malware security filter solutions for mobile phones and embedded devices. Early in his career, Mr. Emery worked as an analyst within the semiconductor industry - where that influence carries over to the Company's embedded strategies. Mr. Emery holds an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University.

  • Chris Leyerle, Founder & CEO at Phytelligence, Founder & CEO at ArchSkills, Principal at Fingo Consulting
Mr. Leyerle is a Leader who has repeatedly built companies and teams to identify opportunities, formulate strategies, take action, solve problems and achieve results. To learn more about  Mr. Leyerle, please go to

  • Raj Angolkar, CEO, Angolkar4Smiles
  • Deepak Bharadwaj, CEO, Aelego
  • Sunil Shah, CTO, New Travel Co.
  • John Sloat, President, Peak Systems
  • Vijay Vashee, Founding President and Chairman, TiE Seattle
  • Kari Kailamaki, Managing Partner, Kaila Ventures
  • Vikas Luthra, CEO & Co-Founder, Dotzoo Inc.
  • Vikesh Mahendroo, CEO, Intrepid Learning Solutions
  • Shirish Nadkarni, Co-Founder, Livemocha


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