President Barack Obama joined Mark Zuckerberg and other entrepreneurs from around the world for a panel presentation on Friday at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley to discuss how technology can empower small businesses
Obama and Zuckerberg both called for more action and support for startups, including increased web connectivity and availability to new tools and opportunities, from finding partners around to globe to getting funding for a new venture.
“Turns out that starting your own business is not easy,” Obama told attendees during the panel. “You have to have access to capital, you have to meet the right people, you have to have mentors who can guide you as you get your idea off the ground.”
Zuckerberg used the stage time to bring attention to FbStart, the company’s platform designed to help mobile startups build and grow their apps. Startups who apply and are accepted gain access to its mentorship program, as well as $80,000 in free tools and services. FbStart is a part of the company’s Internet.org initiative, which aims to bring web access to developing countries.
After the panel, Zuckerberg hosted a video Q&A with the president on his personal Facebook page via a Facebook Live broadcast. The pair further discussed the importance of having digital tools to propel startup growth.
“There are always new tools, but it’s the people who make the change”
“There are always new tools, but it’s the people who make the change,” Zuckerberg said during the Facebook Live. “Tools and connectivity I think are big net positives for the world but we need to make sure that entrepreneurs are taking advantage of these opportunities and creating more value for everyone in the world.”
Obama mentioned that the government can also help support these kinds of projects.
“We’re going to be funding more young entrepreneurs around that [climate change] issue,” Obama said.
By supporting communities around the world with technology, Obama added it will help people development new systems to improve the general well-being of those areas, not just with energy and climate issues but also with health care.
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