In celebration of the first-ever National Entrepreneurs’ Day and to cap off Global Entrepreneurship Week, U.S. Chief Technology Aneesh Chopra and Steve Case, AOL co-founder and co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE), hosted a town hall meeting at HelloWallet with 70+ local entrepreneurs and VCs. Phil Weiser, Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council, moderated. The goal: listen to and gather recommendations from entrepreneurs to inform supportive policymaking.
HelloWallet was absolutely thrilled to host. The event proved to be an important forum for entrepreneurs’ voices to be heard. A few of the highlights, as reported by Doug Rand, policy advisor for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP):
- Steve Case (who in addition to having co-founded AOL is co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship) proved himself to be a sensible leader by delivering this simple directive to the group: This is a bunch of entrepreneurs, not corporate suits—everyone, take off your jacket!
- Aneesh Chopra pointed out a range of government-sponsored prizes available to innovative startups.
- Michael Beirne (Voice of Entrepreneurs) spoke about how important a group of citizen-entrepreneurs proved in making sure that the recent financial regulation reform bill did not severely restrict access to angel capital.
- Phil Weiser (National Economic Council) reaffirmed the Obama Administration’s commitment to a permanent R&D tax credit and an open Internet, both critical to the success of innovative companies.
- Esther Lee (Dept. of Commerce) fielded a fascinating and impassioned suggestion that the Federal government assist Web startups (and not just typical export-oriented companies) in expanding their customer base internationally.
- Sean Greene (Small Business Administration) reiterated a strong commitment to making existing government resources for startups more apparent and accessible nationwide.
- Catharine McNally (Keen Guides) made the case for increased engagement by entrepreneurs with disabled communities, and Chopra followed up by highlighting the increasing availability of open-source accessibility info