The White House is calling in reinforcements to ignite entrepreneurship around the world.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has named nine additional entrepreneurs as Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, including Shark Tank's Daymond John and Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky. The nine new ambassadors will join the 11 existing members, who have been working since last year to help foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the U.S. and around the world.
"We know that entrepreneurship is the key to job creation," Pritzker told Inc. in an interview. "With the U.S. being the number one place in the world to invest, we've got a much greater head start than the rest of the world, but many of our entrepreneurs are interested in working outside the U.S."
The initiative's main goals are to provide access to capital, education, and talent in a way that will inspire emerging entrepreneurs.
"At an international level, a lot of people don't understand the value of entrepreneurship the way we do in America," says Shark Tank's John. "People either think they're stuck in certain categories and can't be entrepreneurs themselves, or they are entrepreneurs but they don't have any structure to their business and they don't know how far they can take it."
As a part of the ambassadorship, each new member will develop a signature initiative to help forward the program's mission. The first group of ambassadors, including Revolution CEO Steve Case and designer Tory Burch, have already seen significant progress in promoting entrepreneurship both domestically and internationally. Case's "Rise of the Rest" bus tour has invested $1.5 million in startups in 14 U.S. cities, while Burch's Elizabeth Street Capital initiative has increased mentorship opportunities and loans to female entrepreneurs in the U.S.
Here's the full list of entrepreneurs joining the existing team to serve as advisers:
- Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO, Airbnb
- Antonio Gracias, CEO and chief investment officer, Valor Equity Partners
- Julie Hanna, executive chair of the board, Kiva
- Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO, Theranos
- Daymond John, founder, Fubu; CEO, Shark Branding
- Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and founder, Kind Snacks
- Ali Rosenthal, vice president, strategic partnerships, Wealthfront
- Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO, GoldieBlox
- Andrew Yang, founder and CEO, Venture for America
Here are the inaugural members of the program.
- Rich Barton, co-founder and executive chairman, Zillow
- Tory Burch, CEO, Tory Burch
- Steve Case, chairman and CEO, Revolution Capital
- Helen Greiner, founder and CEO, CyPhy Works; co-founder, iRobot Corporation
- Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman, LinkedIn
- Quincy Jones, CEO, Quincy Jones Productions
- Salman Khan, founder and executive director, Khan Academy
- Daphne Koller, co-founder and president, Coursera
- Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO, Chobani
- Nina Vaca, CEO, Pinnacle Technical Resources (an Inc. 500 company)
- Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO, LearnVest
"Brian Chesky from Airbnb wants to work in Cuba and I admire the fact that he's focused on one market," says Pritzker. "What we're trying to do is help them shape and develop metrics for what they want to accomplish."