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White House calls on Geomagic's Ping Fu, again

Ping Fu continues to reinforce her role as the local entrepreneur who has become a go-to small business resource for the Obama Administration.

The CEO and founder of Geomagic, a 3-D software company based in Research Triangle Park, was among the speakers in Washington today who helped kick off Obama's campaign to increase investment in start-up companies. The appearance follows several visits to Washington last year, including as Michelle Obama's guest at the State of the Union.

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.

Fu is a passionate advocate for small businesses and women-led firms in particular. She got a call from White House officials on Saturday night, asking her to be in Washington by this morning and didn't hesitate.

"It's important for entrepreneurs to have a voice in the capital," Fu said. "This is a starting point, but this administration really seems to get it."

UNC's Thorp to advise Obama

 UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp has been named to a panel that will advise President Obama on entrepreneurship strategies.

Thorp, a chemist, is one of 26 university leaders and business innovators named to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He joins such notables as Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, AOL co-founder Steve Case, and Charles Vest, the former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Case, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Desh Deshpande, chairman of A123 Systems, will co-chair the council.

Coleman is a former UNC-CH administrator.

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