Ankur Jain is the 20-year-old founder of the Kairos Society, a group that tries to discover the world leaders of the future and bring them together for support, mentoring and networking. He swung through San Francisco in between being named one of the partner organizations for President Obama’s Startup America initiative and the Kairos Society’s Global Summit in New York February 25-27, no doubt feeling as light and celebratory as this picture I found on his blog.
But as impressive as Jain’s organization is, I had some tough questions about the viability of the President’s plan. Most government initiatives to spur entrepreneurship– on a local, national and international level– fail spectacularly. Culturally, structurally and geographically the beltway could not be farther from Silicon Valley. Even if you believe that “replicating Silicon Valley” is feasible, it’s a several-decade initiative, not something that will solve a job crisis now.
Parts of Obama’s plan look great, and he’s dead right that an emphasis on federally-funded research and removing barriers to entrepreneurship are national imperatives. But what are the odds his successors stick to that fortitude with pressures to reduce taxes and cut an out-of-control deficit? And what about the most glaring omission from United States Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra’s post on Startup America: A Startup Visa or some kind of immigration reform to ease the war on talent most tech companies are facing?
Jain tells us why he’s encouraged by the plan in the video below.