While techâ€™s top business leaders gathered at the White House Monday to work with the administration on streamlining processes and cutting the costs of bureaucracy through a technological overhaul, venture capitalists in attendance could be seeking out the next wave of investment opportunities created by the governmentâ€™s latest push.
â€œWe will foster a new set of startups focused on [government] tech and be the new global leader in the field, making government more transparent and responsive to citizensâ€™ needs,â€ said Kushner, who serves as senior advisor to the president and leads the Office of American Innovation, during his opening remarks Monday at the White House. Kushner was leading a summit focused on updating the arcane technology used by many government agencies.
Two of Silicon Valleyâ€™s brightest venture capitalists, Peter Thiel of the Founders Fund and John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, were on hand to hear and contribute ideas. Thiel is known for backing companies including PayPal and eBay, while Kleiner Perkins has backed Amazon, Google, Airbnb and Uber among many others.
Eric Schmidt was also in attendance, the head of Googleâ€™s parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which has a venture capital arm as well.
Meanwhile, information technology stocks saw their biggest percent increase so far this year, with the S&P fund that tracks an aggregate of stocks in the sector up 1.6 percent in afternoon trading Monday. That marks the largest increase since December 7 and snaps a three-day losing streak for the group.
Kushner said Monday transitions as simple as moving email data to cloud servers could save the government a lot of money.
â€œ[The] governmentâ€™s technology spending [is] over $80 billion a year, annually. Over two-thirds of these costs are spent maintaining legacy systems,â€ Kusher noted. â€œThis structure is unsustainable.â€
The administration is looking to fuse innovation and forward-thinking ideas from the private sector into its modernization overhaul. Some of the other tech leaders in attendance included Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella and IBM (NYSE:IBM) CEO Ginni Rometty.