It’s the fourth day of “Tech Week” in the White House, and the Trump administration has another conference set up today for ways to use private technology to modernize the government.
After an initial summit on Monday with tech CEOs like Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and others, the White House has invited drone makers, wireless company executives and venture capitalists to Washington to discuss new technologies such as drone aviation and “Internet of Things.”
But in the hours and days before the summit, the focus has been on who from Silicon Valley will be attending and, perhaps more importantly, who will not. Intrigue has surrounded the White House’s RSVP list and if Silicon Valley’s leading investors will rebuff his invitation to maintain their collective anti-Trump stance.
Even without venture capitalists, the wide array of notable executives are attending today. General Electrics CEO Jeff Immelt, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, CenturyLink CEO Glen Post and Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk are just five of over 15 executives attending.
(Interestingly, the largest consumer drone maker in the United States, DJI, did not send a representative. DJI is originally from China.)
Fewer notable venture capitalists will be attending as well. New Enterprise Associates’ Peter Barris (famous as an early investor for Groupon), Lightspeed Ventures founder Barry Eggers, 500 Startups COO Aman Verjee and EPIC Ventures’ Nick Efstratis are four of eight confirmed by Axios.
Revolution LLC CEO Steve Case, who is also attending, wrote a blog post explaining his decision to attend.
“I know some people will question my decision to attend the gathering of investors at the White House, but I have long advocated for leaders of any kind to engage if given the opportunity,” wrote Case. “How else will we be able to influence — to argue for or against — policies that will determine the future of American leadership?”
But many of Silicon Valley’s largest venture capital firms chose not to attend.
Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, three of the biggest VC firms in Silicon Valley, all chose not to send a representative due to scheduling issues. Kleiner Perkins Chairman John Doerr did attend the Monday event.
It is unclear what exactly about emerging technologies and venture capital will be discussed at today’s summit. But as we speak, the summit has kicked off, with President Trump getting a hands-on look at drones and a 5G wireless technology prototype.
And, in classic Trump fashion, the President kicked off the summit by diverting his talk on technology to “slam Democrats for obstructing healthcare (and) say the Senate bill will have ‘heart,’” according to Recode.
Trump has a drone pic.twitter.com/AlpMt1tdVL
— Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) June 22, 2017
Photo: President Donald Trump is shown a drone by Kespry CEO George Mathew during an American Leadership in Emerging Technology roundtable in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Tags: drone, Trump, venture capital