Bay Area Startups Meet With President Obama

Date: August 05, 2015

White House Demo Day Highlights Entrepreneurs’ Success Stories

On Tuesday President Obama met with more than 30 teams from startups around the US for the first White House Demo Day event. The event was designed to promote the diversity of US startups, the AP reports. President Obama during the meeting noted that while the US has “more high-tech companies than anyplace else in the world,” it can be difficult for entrepreneurs “to pursue their dreams because of challenges like raising capital.” Noting White House data that around 3% of US startups with venture capital are led by women, Obama said, “We’ve got to make sure that everybody is getting a fair shot— the next Steve Jobs might be named Stephanie or Esteban. We’ve got to unleash the full potential of every American— not leave more than half the team on the bench.”

While the startups represented at Tuesday’s event came from across the US, there were half a dozen from the Bay Area alone. The San Francisco Business Times provides information on the six Bay Area startups that presented at Tuesday’s event. Declara specializes in helping people “learn in more personalized ways through advanced semantic search and predictive analysis.” Open Health Network was founded as a “smart mobile health platform” that lets parties “create mobile applications that run on any device and in any language in a day without coding.” BlueOak is an electronics recycling firm, Privail specializes in “commercializing low-cost, early HIV detection technology,” Wearless Tech has a product to “stream video and wellness information to parents’ smartphones to know exactly what is going on with their baby’s health,” and 479 Degrees is “a snack food startup.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small business owners in the San Francisco Bay Area should see this effort by the White House to publicize the hard work of American entrepreneurs as a positive sign that their pursuit of their dream to run their own business is valued. However, highly-publicized photo-ops and speeches by Federal officials aren’t enough to help the small business community, which faces numerous challenges ranging from increased pressure on issues like wages and benefits to higher overhead costs in the face of a still-sluggish economy. While Tuesday’s meetings were a step in the right direction, the Obama Administration can do more to help small businesses across the US.

Additional Reading

The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times are among the additional outlets covering White House Demo Day.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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