OPEN Forum 2009: a must-attend event!

June 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm 4 comments

If you happen to be in the U.S. or can get there easily on June 13. 2009, the Organisation of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America’s (OPEN) Annual event in Silicon Valley would be the place to be.

OPEN bannerThe theme of this year’s event is “Winning Tomorrow”. In a message on the OPEN website, Dilawar Syed, the President of OPEN Silicon Valley, and someone many of us met at the launch of CIO Pakistan in Karachi last year, says:

OPEN Forum ’09 presents an expanded and arguably the richest program to date, a diverse audience, and a new home at the Computer History Museum. It is a moment of great pride for the entire OPEN community in the United States that OPEN Forum is now recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s leading business events.

keynote-tom campbellThis year the Keynote Speaker is Tom Campbell who is a noted educator (former Dean of the Haas School of Business at Berkley), economist and an experienced public servant presently on the council of economic advisors to Governor Schwarzenegger).

The other distinguished keynote speaker is Masood Jabbar, a 16-year veteran of Sun Microsystems who led global sales for Sun, and served as President of Sun Microsystems Computer Division. In addition OPEN Forum 2009, is also going to host a compelling line-up of more than 55 speakers.

I remember going to an OPEN event in Silicon Valley a couple of years ago and must admit to being impressed at the calibre of speakers and the quality of the audience. The networking alone is worth it. I met a lot of Pakistani Americans who were there to learn from each other, to mentor, to talk about issues and opportunities and to generally create an impact.

Several IT professionals from the Pakistan IT industry are regular attendees at this event – Adnan Lawai of Folio 3 and Faraz Hoodbhoy of PixSense (Faraz of course lives in the US, whenever he is not on a plane) and Monis Rahman of Naseeb Networks to name just a few. Our friend Anthony Mitchell will probably be there too. This year a little bird tells me that Syed Azhar Rizvi, CEO of the Technology Angel Network and Vice Chair of MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan, will also be attending the event and meeting with the Charter Members of OPEN before flitting across several cities in the US to meet with other OPEN Chapters. We hope that Azhar and all those who are flying from Pakistan to the OPEN Forum, will have a productive event.

The Conference Agenda seems quite comprehensive and interesting. I wish Mountain View wasn’t so far away. I would have definitely attended the event.

track1-finalisttrack2-finalisttrack3-finalistThere is an element to this event that I think is particularly useful – it is termed Entrepreneurship Idol. This is where entrepreneurs will get to present a three minute pitch to a panel of judges who will provide quick, honest, and insightful feedback.

For more information regarding the event, do visit the OPEN Silicon Valley website.

This year CIO Pakistan is a media partner of the event. Rabia Garib has been interviewing some of the speakers and making the videos available on the CIO Webstudio. I am sure she will be making much more rich content available to us from the OPEN Forum 2009 leading up to, and during the event. Good luck friends at OPEN. We wish you a successful conference.

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