President Obama is hosting the first-ever White House Demo Day today (Aug. 4) focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and welcoming startup founders and innovators from across the country.
As part of the program, the White House released a lengthy statement outlining a multitude of initiatives surrounding the Demo Day effort that Obama said would “provide more Americans with the opportunity to pursue their bold, game-changing ideas.”
Touting public-private partnerships, Obama said he wants to increase diversity among venture capital leadership.
“Just three percent of America’s venture capital-backed startups are led by women, and only around one percent are led by African-Americans,” Obama said. “At present, only about four percent of U.S.-based venture capital investors are women. And, capital for innovative startups is predominantly available in just a few places, making high-growth business creation a challenge outside of a handful of metro hubs.”
The administration said it planned to:
- Announce 116 winners of two Small Business Administration prizes that promise to unleash entrepreneurship in communities across the country: the Growth Accelerator Fund for startup accelerators, incubators, and other entrepreneurial ecosystems; and the President’s “Startup in a Day” initiative that will empower mayors to cut red tape for local entrepreneurs.
- Scale up the National Science Foundation I-Corps program with eight new and expanded Federal agency partnerships, introducing hundreds of entrepreneurial scientist teams across the country to a rigorous process for moving their discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace.
Additionally, Obama said he had secured commitments from other public-private partnerships that will include:
- Institutional investors committing over $11 billion to emerging managers, including CalPERS and the New York City Pension Funds.
- More than 100 engineering deans committing to attract and retain a diverse student body, building the pipeline for the next generation of American engineers and entrepreneurs.
- More than a dozen major technology companies announcing new actions to ensure diverse recruitment and hiring, including Amazon, Box, Microsoft, Xerox, and others committing to adopt variations on the “Rooney Rule” to consider diverse candidates for senior executive positions.