January 22, 2019


What is ATEA?

American Tamil Entrepreneurs Association (ATEA) is a non-profit, membership based organization serving the interests of Tamil diaspora in US. ATEA is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section of 501 (c) (3).

ATEA promotes entrepreneurship among the community members with a focus on Women and Youth.

What are the activities of ATEA?

ATEA chapters organize meetups, seminars and conferences for the benefit of the members. Startup education, idea validation, networking, mentoring, and fundraising guidance / assistance are some the key objectives of the organization.

Why do we need yet another Organization for Entrepreneurship? Don’t we have enough – TiE, AngeList, SVAngels, YCombinator, etc.
ATEA is focused on Tamil Youth and Tamil Women budding entrepreneurs. The seeds for the need for ATEA were sown at TEFcon in San Jose in July 2015. When we put together a platform of successful Tamil Entrepreneurs and professionals for TEF, we realized (perhaps for the first time) the opportunity to promote and foster entrepreneurship among Tamil speaking youth and women. We were encouraged by the reception the idea received. The idea resonated well not just with the mentees that received feedback, but also with the mentors in that they felt a sense of inclusion and connection with the up and coming entrepreneurs.

The concept grew further strength at TEFcon in New Jersey in July 2016. The realization grew that the need was not just in Silicon Valley, but in the East Coast too.

ATEA was founded by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, investors and academicians with a goal of giving back to their community by sharing their knowledge and expertise with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Above all, numbers show that the Tamil community is a business-shy community. Now is the time to utilize the worldwide opportunities to launch startups and innovative businesses. ATEA will disseminate relevant information targeted to the community.

Is this a cultural organization?

No, ATEA is not a cultural or religious organization. It is a professional business networking and educational organization focused on promoting and fostering entrepreneurship.

Should I become a member to attend ATEA events?

We recommend becoming an annual member of ATEA, though non-members can attend the events. Regular events such as meetups are free for members. Members also get discounts for ATEA conferences.

Who can become members?

Any member of the community interested in entrepreneurship – current entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, high school and college students interested in entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurs, executives, etc.

Is there a membership for businesses?

Startup businesses can become members of ATEA. See membership section for details.

Will ATEA provide funding for my startup?

ATEA has limited funds available (through its members) for the right opportunity. We will be defining a process to apply for the funding. More importantly, ATEA has access to numerous investors and VCs. We will be able to introduce budding youth and women entrepreneurs to the right investor – based on the domain.

Will ATEA provide office space for my startup?

ATEA is currently operating in a “virtual” mode. All members of the ATEA Board are working full time in their respective ventures. As a result, ATEA does not have a physical office. So, the question of providing an office space for other startups does not arise. However, ATEA can provide assistance in determining the right location for your startup.

Where are the ATEA chapters?

Currently ATEA has chapters in Silicon Valley, North East, and Midwest (Chicago) in US.

Why another Tamil community organization?

All current Tamil community organizations focus on culture, literature, religion, etc. Hence ATEA, exclusively focused on entrepreneurship, will work with other organizations to benefit the members of the community at large.

How can I support ATEA?

Please become an annual member in order to support ATEA. Businesses can welcome to become annual sponsors or event sponsors. Above all, ATEA is a volunteer run organization. We need your support as volunteers for various events as well as ongoing operations.

How can I become a volunteer?

Please reach out to one of the team leaders of ATEA chapter in your region. Please see ATEA Chapters section for more team member information.