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Faculty + Student Showcase with Idris Kothari & John Ason

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In Person
During GEW

Seeking funding for your new startup? Interested in learning about the “angel world?” Hear IIT faculty and students pitch their companies in this informative showcase. John Ason, a professional angel investor will discuss his organization, business development expertise, and funding ideas. Idris Kothari, Chairman of OPEN Silicon Valley as well as CTO of Vertical Systems will share his perspective from a tech entrepreneur’s point of view. Take your idea to the next level and register today!  



John Ason


John Ason has been an angel investor for over 17 years specializing in early stage pre-revenue companies. He has made over forty eclectic investments in the areas of e-commerce, technology, advertising, digital social media and entertainment. For about half of his investments, John has been the lead angel devoting a significant amount of his time to mentoring the companies.


Prior to being an angel investor John had a career at AT&T Bell Labs. He spent the first ten years doing bleeding edge technology development and then 15 years marketing large telecommunications systems to international telecommunications companies. John guest lectures at NJIT, Fairleigh Dickinson, Rutgers, NYU and Wharton. John is a mentor at the Entrepreneurial Roundtable, DreamIt, TechLaunch, and Worldwide Investor Network accelerators. John is an advisor to the Astia and Springboard womens organizations. He is a founding investor of the Digital Entertainment Ventures fund. John has a BS in Mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology.




Idris Kothari


Design cutting-edge technology, then creatively transform it into practical business applications. That is what Mr. Kothari has done repeatedly over a distinguished career of almost 30 years.


In his current responsibilities with Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi) – a company based in Silicon Valley that he helped to co-found in 2001 – he is developing sophisticated solutions for the hospitality industry through a wide range of automated business centers, mobile applications, Wi-Fi hotspots, kiosks, and in-room products.


As both an innovative scientist and a visionary entrepreneur, he has co-founded and held senior engineering positions at several successful high-tech start-up firms – notably VPNet Technologies, VIA Technologies, and SLI Systems – that focused on such specialized areas as PC chip-sets, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), search engine optimization (SEO), and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).


Mr. Kothari earned two undergraduate degrees at schools in Karachi, Pakistan – one in physics at SM Science College and the other in electrical engineering at NED Engineering University. He earned a master degree in computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Although Mr. Kothari is a man of industry, he is also a man of character and of the community. For example, he is a founding member, past president, and current board chairman of OPEN Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization that promotes entrepreneurship and leadership among the area’s Pakistani-American residents.


In addition, he is a board member of several other civic groups, including the NED Alumni Association of Silicon Valley and Friends of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) USA. From 2002 to 2005, he served on the first global board of directors of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and helped to start TiE chapters in Karachi as well as Lahore.




Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm


Venue: IIT Main Campus, McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC), Auditorium




For more events happening during Global Entrepreneurship Week, please visit this page




Space is limited and registration is $10.  This event is for IIT STUDENTS, ALUM, FACULTY and STAFF only.

Students / Youth
Entrepreneurs / Startups
Investors / Mentors
  • When: 12-2pm
  • Start: 20 November 2013
  • End: 20 November 2013
IIT Main Campus, MTCC Auditorium

What is GEW

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world's largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

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