I know it's Martin Luther King Jr's observed b'day and all, but It's actually Tej Dhawan's real birthday today. Feel free to smack me around for not being mono-topical.
I first met Tej thanks to Mike Colwell at the BIZ, shortly after I left Palisade and was considering building an incubator. Tej had just self-emancipated from his last venture and was also considering something similar. From these three-way conversations between Tej, Mike and I, StartupCity Des Moines was born.
Tej is the main driving force behind StartupCity.
I have some vision and execution skills, but Tej makes the magic happen. If this were a superhero team, Tej would be the hero and I would be the sidekick. No question. Unfortunately, I have an annoying habit of spewing bon mots and other soundbites that put me in the press more frequently than he, so Tej is often overlooked for the credit for SCDSM and his role as a driver of the local entrepreneurial zeitgeist. Ditto on the Iowa Startup Alliance. Ditto on StartupIowa. Ditto on 'Silicon Sixth'. Ditto on the Iowa Startup Fair.
He makes it rain.
Des Moines, and all of Iowa and the Silicon Prairie owe Tej a big 'Thank You' for his reasoned, educated, insightful and hilarious guidance. I am honored to be his colleague, friend and sidekick.