What Tech Entrepreneurs Want from Obama

Yesterday we recapped Obama’s views on education, looking back at some of his speeches on the campaign trail. Today, we’re taking a look at what tech entrepreneurs want from Obama over the next four years.

Michael Copeland from Wired posted a story this week about what tech entrepreneurs have on their wishlist. While some are demanding immigration reform, policies on privacy and personal data, and an end to partisan politics, education also made the list. Here’s what Jeff Bonforte, CEO of Xobni, and Dean Rotchin, president and CEO of Blackjet had to say:

Jeff Bonforte, CEO, Xobni
Obama should prioritize research and development in fundamental, long time-frame science areas like space, environmental preservation and recovery, energy, materials, etc. This has many benefits, but the most important are to inspire the next generations of entrepreneurs, inventors and innovation. Disruption begets disruption. Core improvements in these areas drive massive innovation downstream. For example, fund internet development and you get Google, et al. Fund energy breakthroughs and we will see massive improvements in computing ubiquity and power.

For the short term, citizens that are safe, healthy, educated and well-employed provide fertile markets for both existing players and new entrants alike. But massive imbalances of wealth distribution ultimately makes these goals impossible, and undermines startup markets.


Dean Rotchin, president and CEO, Blackjet

BlackJet’s biggest issue right now is talent, and we are not alone. I believe Obama’s clear focus on education, especially in math and science is critical for solving this problem in the long term.

Real wealth creation results from finding and developing new and better solutions. So, the idea of cutting education in public schools, universities and research institutions would be antithetical to solving our problems. In fact, cuts to education and research could be catastrophic for the tech industry, which is for the most part a function of the skills of our workforce. Adversely affect the education system, and the tech industry suffers and wealth creation suffers as well. We need a political approach that promotes education and research in order to cultivate talent, encourage the talent to stay in the U.S., and help grow our advantages in technology.


What’s on your wishlist for education reform and tech policies over the next few years?