SkyTeam Privail in the White House
While many startups may fear the pressure of pitching to angel investors or venture capitalists, or even at the weekly SkyHack, SkyTeam Privail was chosen as one of ten startups to make a pitch to a very important person: the President of the United States. Privail showcased their innovative approach to HIV/AIDS testing at the inaugural White House Demo-Day this past Tuesday, August 4th. Privail was one of ten teams to pitch their startup, and stand beside President Obama as he honored his commitment to support the aspirations of entrepreneurs nationwide, allowing Americans to remain at the forefront of innovation. During the final press conference, Privail co-founder Christopher Ategeka stood immediately to the left of the President and co-founder Anwaar Al-Zireeni stood in the middle of the top row.
Unlike traditional Demo-Days, participating startups were not pitching to funders, but detailed their company development to President Obama on camera, with the additional intention of inspiring entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to grow their ideas. The startup founders were introduced to Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, and encouraged to host their own Demo-Days in their own respective communities.
President Obama recognized the universal benefits of startup growth, including an increase in job opportunities, and the importance of encouraging women and minorities to play an active role in startups. He announced the introduction of opportunities to translate scientific research into functional products, educational programs that emphasize a coding curriculum, and a growth in companies that have pledged to report their review of women and minorities for more jobs. Startups like SkyTeam Privail are not only transforming the world with their HIV/AIDS testing device, but also with the fearlessness in which they are approaching their dreams that inspire others to follow.