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Hill folks: Are you ready for the coolest excuse to go off-campus tomorrow?

Not feeling reading a 50 page policy paper in your office on a Friday?

Want to get off Capitol Hill for a couple hours, but also want it known that you’re doing legitimate work?

If you’re working in government and want to save the world (I’m looking at you, almost everyone in DC), check out this amazing day of startup government focused talks at 1776 tomorrow.

Register now or read on.

Challenge Festival’s Startup Government Day

Innovation is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of government. Yet, government can be a true driver of innovation —and that’s exactly what citizens should be demanding and public servants should be pursuing.

That’s why, whether you’re a policy wonk seeking the most cutting-edge innovations in your field, a lover of the mix of politics and technology, or an entrepreneur solving problems in a regulated industry, the Challenge Festival’s Startup Government Day presented by CEA on Friday, May 16 is one that you cannot miss.

The Startup Government Conference will feature speakers from all levels of government—city to federal—and the startup leaders who work with them. As new technologies and communities arise, startups and technologists will need to work hand in hand with  government entities to ensure success.


Here’s the lineup so far – that’s right, there may be even more speakers tomorrow.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Keynote by Tim O’Reilly.

As the founder and CEO of O’Reilly media, Tim O’Reilly brings a mix of government, media and entrepreneurship to get the day started. He is on the forefront of innovation, tech, and open source data and how they relate to government — and is considered by many to be the best computer publisher in the world.  You won’t want to miss O’Reilly’s ponderings on the latest trends and how government agencies, policy, and startups can work together.

Following Tim O’Reilly, Chris Dorobek of GovLoop as emcee, will lead you through the day and explore what the public-private process looks like. How can government officials celebrate and foster startups to help our economy? What issues worry startups? Register to join at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and then continue reading to find out the speakers who will answer these questions and more on Friday, May 16 at Startup Government Day.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. First panel of the day: “Effective Innovation Policies to Bolster Entrepreneurs & Enable New Markets.”

Speakers will look at the current legislative landscape and discuss what policies can be implemented at the federal level. Moderated by Washington Post’s Brian Fung, our panelists include policy experts who will kick off and set the tone for the day.


  • Moderator: Brian Fung, The Washington Post
  • Noah Phillips, Chief Counsel, Senator John Cornyn (R – Tex.)
  • Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Paul Nagle, Commerce Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee (R – Neb.)

11:30 – 12:30  “Coming to a City Near You? How Startups Choose Where to Expand” panel.

Startups are increasingly examining the regulatory landscape when deciding where to expand next. During this session, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray will give brief opening remarks before panelists shift from the federal focus to drill down into what makes one city an attractive market and what discourages entrepreneurs from another city. Panelists are a cast of experts, startups and officials who tackle these very questions every day.


  • Moderator: David Zipper, Managing Director, 1776 Ventures
  • Jennifer Bradley, Fellow and Senior Advisor, The Brookings Institution
  • Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, East Coast, Uber
  • Chris Murphy, Chief of Staff, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray
  • Brad Hargareves, Cofounder, General Assembly

12:30 – 1:00 Lunch Break

Break at 12:30 p.m. and meet your fellow attendees and the day’s speakers over lunch.

1:00 – 2:10 In-depth discussion on “How Cities Can Grow Their Startup Ecosystems.”

Expect the speakers to address specific strategies for municipalities to foster and aid entrepreneurs. Topics such as density of resources and attracting capital are sure to come up.


  • Moderator: Scott Case, Cofounder & CEO, Main Street Genome
  • Donna Harris, Cofounder, 1776
  • Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871
  • Michael Burcham, CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center
  • Trey Bowles, CEO, The Dallas Entrepreneur Center

2:10 – 3:10 – Final panel before the keynote speakerWhat Government Agencies Can Learn from Startups.”

An amazing opportunity to hear directly from all levels of government about how they can partner, use the methodologies, techniques and new products from startups.

  • Moderator: Brandon Pollak, Director of Global Affairs, 1776
  • Dan Tangherlini, Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration
  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
  • Julie McPherson, ‎Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

3:10 – 3:40Amazing keynote from Aneesh Chopra in a fireside chat with 1776 Cofounder Evan Burfield.

Chopra will discuss his past experience as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States and his new book, Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government, to wrap up some of the key lessons through Startup Government Day!