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Startups@DC: Max Political Impact, Minimum Effort

#sxsw #StartVisa

How do we get results from what most consider a broken government? What skills are needed to unpackage the government monolith into specific stacks for specific tasks and duties?

This presentation will use Startup Visa as a case study for how the startup community has achieved limited initial success in creating an issue, run into typical political roadblocks, and how to use expert knowledge of political structures to pass Startup Visa this year as part of comprehensive reform.

What are the big red buttons that are causally linked to getting results from government? How can a group that knows enough about DC and its culture earn the trust of the startup community to deliver the knowledge and tools entrepreneurs need to effectively make DC work to remove barriers to entrepreneurial success?

Entrepreneurial veteran and Representative Jared Polis, Netroots Nation founder Gina Cooper, and PolitiHacks founder Craig Montuori will discuss making government work for startups.



Craig Montuori Founder, Exec Dir PolitiHacks

Craig is the founder and executive director of PolitiHacks, an advocacy group for startup visa and other causes that contribute towards a stronger, more vibrant startup community. He serves as a bridge between DC and the startup community, with one foot in both worlds. Previously, he supported VCs like Ron Conway and Brad Feld as a volunteer advocate and political coordinator for the loose coalition of startup community VIPs working to see Startup Visa become a reality. With degrees in aerospace engineering from Caltech and public affairs from the University of San Francisco, he offers a technical take on politics using the language of the startup community on hacking through the red tape of Washington DC.

Gina Cooper Founder Cooper Strategies

Gina Cooper is the founder of Cooper Strategies. Her approach to online politics has become a cornerstone of the online progressive movement. She is also the founder and past CEO of Netroots Nation, the most dynamic and influential political organization to emerge from the early years of the progressive blogosphere.

Gina continues to explore innovative ways in which the Internet can help ordinary people become invested in their own political solutions, including traveling to Taiwan to advise top elected officials on open government initiatives and as a member of Obama For America's policy advisory committee for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications.

Jared Polis Congressman US House of Representatives

Jared Polis is an independent leader who uses his private and public sector experience to
find pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing Colorado and the nation. First elected to
represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful
Committee on Rules, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the House Democratic Steering
and Policy Committee.
Polis believes that education is the single most meaningful investment America can make
in its economic future and in its people. His efforts in this area focus on getting
accountability right at all levels, expanding educational models that work, and improving
persistently failing schools with data-driven models to reduce achievement gaps.
Polis also works with Democrats and Republicans to reform our nation’s broken
immigration policies, to advance the cause of civil rights and equality for all, and to
protect Colorado and the world’s natural beauty and environment.
While still attending Princeton University, Polis co-founded his first company, American
Information Systems, a success he followed with the launching of and He has been named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young.