Entrepreneurship Seminar: Consulting & Entrepreneurship - Two Sides of the Same Coin

Neil Sahota
McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Neil Sahota

IBM Watson Group, master inventor and worldwide business development leader. UCI class of ’97, ’00, MBA ’03

Free and open to the public

Bio: Neil Sahota (萨冠军) has more than15 years of experience in business, working with Watson's clients and business partners to create next-generation products and solutions. Prior to this, he was a thought leader consultant and practice leader in IBM Global Business Services, where he oversaw sales and delivery of complex consulting engagements spanning business strategy, new product development, revenue optimization, process improvement, and business and system integration. His work experience spans multiple industries including healthcare, life sciences, retail, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, automotive, telecommunications, media/communication and government. Sahota is one of a select group of IBM employees selected for the company's Corporate Service Corps leadership program, which pairs leaders with NGOs to perform community-driven economic development projects. For his assignment, Sahota lived and worked in Ningbo, China, where he partnered with Chinese corporate CEOs to create a leadership development program.

Sahota also is an active volunteer in IBM’s Academic Initiative program that creates partnership opportunities between IBM and the country’s top universities, and serves as a business mentor for IBM’s Extreme Blue program, an incubator for new product ideas. With his guidance, IBM developed new products and services in the areas of business analytics, smarter healthcare, smarter energy, mobile channel development, and social media solutions.

In addition, he partners with entrepreneurs to define their products, establish their target markets and structure their companies. He is a member of the Tech Coast Angels and assists startups with investor funding. He also serves as a judge in the Butterworth Product Competition, mentor in the K5 Launch accelerator program, and coach for various startup competitions.

Sahota actively volunteers with nonprofits for event management, fundraising, grant reviews and site visits. He is an active member of the UCI Alumni Association and serves on the board of directors for the Orange County Marathon, supporting their work with the OC Kids program in fighting childhood obesity.

The Entrepreneurship Seminar Series provides a real-world introduction to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. Through a series of presentations by prestigious entrepreneurs and industry leaders, participants will explore the various organizational, strategic and financial challenges facing successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Topics include start-up strategies, business idea evaluation, business plan writing, and introduction to venture capital.