President Barack Obama's Startup America 2011 tour will kick off in Research Triangle Park tomorrow.
The commander-in-chief won't make an appearance, but he will send administration officials such as Ronnie Chatterji of the Council of Economic Advisers and Esther Vassar of the Small Business Administration.
As part of the initiative announced in January, administration officials plan to visit eight cities to hear from small business owners and entrepreneurs about regulations, lending, hiring and more.
The Startup America effort involves using $2 billion from the Small Business Administration, with matching funds from private foundations and big technology companies such as IBM and Intel, to provide seed and early-stage investments in firms with high-growth potential.
One goal is to identify burdensome regulations and other barriers that curb entrepreneurs' efforts to expand startup companies. The main mission is to generate more activity among entrepreneurs and small businesses that will create new jobs and bolster the slowly reviving economy.
At the RTP event, Obama officials will be joined by local executives that include Blue Bright Ventures' Lee Buck, Geomagic's Ping Fu, Bandwidth.com's David Morken, Zenph Sound's Kip Frey, American Support's Matt Zemon and Bull City Forward's (and Work&Money's Doing Better columnist for The News & Observer) Christopher Gergen.
Fu was in Washington to help announce Obama's initiative and has become a go-to small business executive in the Triangle for the administration. She is the co-founder and CEO of Geomagic, a 3-D software company based in RTP.
She's also a member of the administration's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is scheduled to hold its first meeting outside of Washington on March 15 at UNC Chapel Hill. UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp is also on the council.
The Startup America event in RTP will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tomorrow at the N.C. Biotechnology Center.
The event is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Register by sending an email with your name, contact information and business information to email@example.com.
You can also send comments on ways to support entrepreneurship to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received via email will be incorporated into the final Reducing Barriers report.
The next Startup America event will be at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, on March 12. Others are planned for Boston, Silicon Valley, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and Boulder.