Weiser at the White House
Yesterday, Phil Weiser, Dean of the University of Colorado Law School and Founder of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship discussed his two years at the White House, serving as the Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council.
Speaking to packed auditorium - and for national cameras on C-SPAN — Weiser commended President Obama for not only supporting but being actively engaged in emerging technology and for urging investment in R&D as the US faces "Our generation's Sputnik moment" - harkening back to the 1960s when John F. Kennedy called on the nation to invest in science and technology.
Speaking about innovation and national priorities, Weiser highlighted President Obama's move to "open innovation" — inviting the public to submit solutions to national problems from space exploration to childhood obesity. (See challenge.gov for opportunities to participate.) In particular, Weiser praised Boulder startup ZisBoomBah, founded by Karen Laszlo, a kid's nutrition website that won the Grand Prize in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids competition to end childhood obesity.
Following his presentation, Weiser sat down with venture capitalist and entrepreneur Brad Feld for a one-on-one Q&A. Feld, co-founder of the Foundry Group, Mobius Venture Capital, Intensity Ventures and Feld Technologies, asked Weiser a wide-ranging set of questions, from "Other than the president, who was the most inpiring leader you worked with and why?" (Answer: "Larry Summers, because he cared about the purity and rigor of ideas") to "What was your favorite restaurant?" (Answer: Founding Farmers and Nora's.)