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SXSW Interactive 2013

Startups@DC: Max Political Impact, Minimum Effort

How do we get results from what most consider to be 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, failed to follow-up, and how to use expert knowledge of the political power structure to be more successful as we start from scratch to pass Startup Visa this year.

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 and Startup Visa advocate and PolitiHacks founder Craig Montuori will discuss making government work for startups.

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  1. How much time do entrepreneurs really need to pay attention to DC to be able to effectively engage on policy, as building a great company and crafting excellent user engagement is a more than full time commitment?
  2. Why do Congressional letters of support help visa applications for founders succeed, and how else can Congress support individual founders when they face immigration or other government rules increasing their risk of failure, potentially harming their ability to raise from VCs?
  3. What are some red buttons that cause government officials to act in predictable ways that technical people should know about, and why do they work?
  4. Why has Startup Visa failed to gain political traction since being introduced in 2009, and moving forward, how can the tech community meaningfully support Startup Visa without distracting from the hard work of building a great company or spending the large amount of collective time needed to become an expert in navigating Washington DC?
  5. How can founders, VCs, and startup community VIPs build trust with a network that has one foot in DC and one in the worldwide developer community to get access to the information and tools they need to keep DC from messing everything up for us?



Craig Montuori, Founder, Executive Director, PolitiHacks

Meta Information:

  • Tags: government, policy
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Government and Civic Engagement
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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