For the past several years, I have been impressed by how much Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance, in principle, of supporting high-tech entrepreneurship. (It’s one theme of my book.)
This bipartisanship was on display last week, when 33 startups flew into Washington, DC to meet with White House officials and Congressmen. The fly-in day was called “Startup Day on the Hill” and was organized by Engine Advocacy, a group that helps give startups a voice in DC and has 500 startup members. (I’m on Engine’s Steering Committee and am a big fan.)
This video clip is from the “Demo” event on Tuesday, where startup founders displayed their companies to members of Congress and their staff, demonstrating to those in DC that not all companies are lawyered-up/lobbyist-retaining giants.
We had some remarks from Senator Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, now a major champion of high-tech entrepreneurship. For those unfamiliar with Sen. Moran, he is now a lead sponsor of Startup Act 3.0 and years ago was the first Republican Senator to join Senator Ron Wyden (D) in opposing SOPA/PIPA.
This video is a fairly amusing depiction of this bipartisanship on tech issues–a bipartisanship that has extended from the days of SOPA to ECPA reform to Aaron’s Law addressing the CFAA. I am hoping this bipartisanship is extended and strengthened.
In the video, Senator Moran, a Republican, is giving some advice to startup founders. A bearded Mike McGeary, Engine’s Director and someone who worked on Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign, is listening on. The camera then pans to me, the clean-shaven guy in a striped green tie who was a tech advisor to the Obama campaign in 2008. And then it pans to Grover Norquist, champion of the “Taxpayer Protector Pledge,” someone who understands that entrepreneurship drives economic growth, and that economic growth is key to balancing the spending/revenue equations. So we all stand on the same side to support tech innovation, if from slightly different perspectives.
The entire crowd was politically mixed, matching folks on opposite sides of the political aisle.
Hat tip to Daniel Schwartzbaum, who really created the video, and also to the folks at Engine.