“It’s an honor to serve”, America’s Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, told me when I caught up with him at AT&T’s gleaming new Foundry innovation center in Palo Alto last week. Appointed by President Obama as America’s first CTO in 2009, Chopra laid out for me three priorities for driving technological innovation in America. The first is building what he calls “smart infrastructure” for the digital age. The second is establishing clear “rules of road” for critical issues like security and intellectual property protection in an increasingly Internet centric economy. And the third is leaping over what he calls “the productivity gap” to create digital jobs in the future.
It’s no easy task, of course. And that’s why America’s CTO is calling on TechCrunch’s army of entrepreneurs to join him in reinventing the country. Chopra told me that key sectors in our economy, from healthcare to energy to education, are now ripe for radical innovation. And what we now need, he insisted, are entrepreneurs willing to go to DC in order to serve the public good in programs like the Technology Fellows Program
But is Chopra right? Should entrepreneurs be innovating on their own technology start-ups, or should they instead be going to DC to start-up America?