Secretary of Commerce visits 1776 - DC


Nov. 18, 2014 8:59 am

Secretary of Commerce visits 1776

Monday marked the beginning of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
1776 cofounder Evan Burfield asked Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker about her work to promote entrepreneurship, Nov. 17, 2014.

1776 cofounder Evan Burfield asked Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker about her work to promote entrepreneurship, Nov. 17, 2014.

(Photo by Lalita Clozel)

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited 1776 on Monday to mark the first day of Global Entrepreneurship Week — and the one-year anniversary of her “Open for Business Agenda” announcement.

For the occasion, she ladled out some encouragement to all struggling entrepreneurs. “Flying without a net is a pretty terrifying experience,” said Pritzker. “But that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be successful.”

Pritzker, who was answering questions from 1776 cofounder Evan Burfield, also defended the economic progress made under her watch. “We’re not letting grass grow under our feet,” she said.

She admitted that the Department of Commerce, and the administration as a whole, still had ways to go to optimize its approach to open government. Pritzker proposed creating “three or four different templates that then could be replicated throughout the government.” To mark its commitment to open data, the Department of Commerce announced in July the creation of a 15-person data advisory council.

She was also asked to weigh in on the current debate over net neutrality, as the Washington Post reported.

Pritzker, who said leading a government agency had some similarities with entrepreneurship, particularly when it comes to fundraising — “you often have to persuade people that your crazy idea could be the next big thing” — will be speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held Nov. 19-21 in Marrakesh.

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