From: Lesley Clark [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2015 04:17 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP
Subject: In-town pool report #2
President Obama viewed exhibits set up in the State Dining Room for the WH's Demo Day. (More on that and participant bios to follow)
Participants stood by tables w their presentations, waiting for Obama.
Obama arrived at 3: 28 w an "alrighty and good to see you."
Went to duo lingo first and spoke w participants, who told him about their education project.
Obama listened, arms folded across his chest.
"This is great," he said of the language app.
"If I wanted to spruce up on my Spanish.." he said, adding that he's not now allowed to have a smartphone.
He asked them how they were able to make money from the app and congratulated them on a "great idea.
My high school Spanish was just painful," he said, adding his accent was excellent, but that he has "vocabulary of a 2 year old."
He then went to Partpic, which makes it easier to find parts.
"I've been looking for this," he joked, picking up a small item. "There's a bolt missing from the WH."
He quizzed the inventors on their project and how they decided to do it. The woman said she was working w customers who weren't happy w getting the wrong parts.
He also talked to them about how they got funding for the project
Third was Base Directory: which helps find services at military bases. One founder described it as "trip advisor for military bases."
They showed Obama the project on a laptop and screen.
"You got all my stuff here," Obama said, looking at the screen. "This is hugely helpful."
He asked if they had ads, or was the military going to say "we should've done this."
Then he was over to Emerald, a health companion for seniors, including automatic fall detection.
Obama noted his grandmother lived by herself.
The woman said older people sometimes don't know how to wear the assistance, "or they get cranky about it," Obama suggested.
He saw a demo that includes a sensor so the older person doesn't have to wear anything.
"I'm surprised it's that sensitive from that distance," Obama said, after a demonstrator held his breath for a bit -- and then started breathing after Obama joked he was "turning blue."
He asked the inventors how they were getting funded and they said they hadn't done that yet.
He then walked over to Jerry the Bear, a big talking teddy bear with what looks like an iPhone in his belly.
He helps children w diabetes.
Both presenters said they have experience w the importance of eating well, which Obama said he shared: "I'm married to Michelle Obama."
The president pressed Jerry's paw and exclaimed, "it's a set up, he said Happy Birthday"
He also stopped at declara, where he spotted a "handsome guy" -- a picture of himself on one of the laptops on display.
He talked w the presenter about her data project, suggesting he worked at a company and needed to know everything about "rock guitars" and whether it would be more comprehensive than google or other search engine.
He spent a few minutes chatting about the project and "collective intelligence."
He asked about the market for the project, given that it is in depth - not necessarily mass market.
He asked the woman about how she got started and thanked her for her service
"An impressive bunch" he said of the presenters
Then it was into the Red Room for more presentations: first Sakti3
Which is working on electronic cells and batteries for cars, etc
"I'm very excited," he said of the possibilities
Then he was over to Student Loan Genius, "the 401k for student loans."
He proposed a situation to the inventor, who walked him through the process.
He asked why it was business to business, not business to consumer.
Like he did w many, he asked him about how he came up w the idea and how he was getting financed.
He also posed for pictures w the inventors.
And after 45 minutes, he's moving into the East Room for remarks, which are open press.
The foyer area had several stations of inventions, including
Vetigel - "stops bleeding in seconds"
Sword & Plough, which recycles military surplus material that would otherwise be thrown away
Backpacks and totes
The WH is hosting the first-ever White House Demo Day, which the WH says "will celebrate the important role entrepreneurship plays in America’s economy. Unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs and startups pitch their ideas to funders, these innovators from around the country will 'demo' their individual stories."
The President’s remarks in the East Room which follow his tour, are open press.
Here are the participants' bios, per the WH:
Declara: Ramona Pierson, Palo Alto, California
In 1984, at age 22, Ramona Pierson was hit by a drunk driver and left in a coma for 18 months. She was left blind for 11 years, though she has regained partial sight thanks to a corneal transplant. Ramona had to re-learn everything – including breathing and walking – and that process inspired her to start Declara, which develops ways for people to learn in more personalized ways. In three years, Declara has grown to 65 employees, and attracted $32.5 million in funding. Pierson also serves as a mentor for LGBT entrepreneurs.
Base Directory: Billy Griffin and Tony Hatala, Denver, Colorado
Founded by two military officers who met on deployment, Base Directory helps service members and their families connect with resources on military installations After the initial launch of the app, co-founder Billy Griffin enrolled in Galvanize, a 12 week coding bootcamp that has made commitments to the TechHire initiative, where he learned the programming skills to succeed as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. The company’s app and website provide a directory of locations, phone numbers, and even movie show times for U.S. military bases worldwide.
Partpic: Jewel Burks and Jason Crain, Atlanta, Georgia
Partpic, an Atlanta-based startup, combines image recognition and machine learning technologies to transform the industrial supply industry. Partpic allows customers to take a picture of the part they want to replace and automatically receive product name, specifications, and supplier information. Partpic recently closed a $1.5M seed round including investments from Steve Case's Rise of the Rest and Comcast Ventures. Jewel Burks leads the Partpic team as co-founder and CEO, and additionally serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Google. Partpic's leadership team also includes former Googler, Jason Crain as co-founder/COO.
Emerald: Dina Katabi, Fadel Adib, and Zach Kabelac, Cambridge Massachusetts
Emerald – co-founded by Dina Katabi, an MIT professor and recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and two of her students, Fadel Adib and Zach Kabelac – uses radio waves to detect seniors’ movements in the home. Using high-precision radio sensors and data analytics, Emerald can detect breathing, heart rate, and changes in gait with such detail that it may soon be able to predict declines in health and increased risk of falling in advance, which could empower the elderly to live safely and independently.
Sakti3: Ann Marie Sastry, Ann Arbor, Michigan
With over 25 years of experience and 120 scientific publications, Dr. Ann Marie Sastry is a leading materials science researcher. After spending 17 years as a Professor at University of Michigan, doing research for DARPA, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and other sponsors in government agencies and the private sector, Dr. Sastry decided to found her company. Sakti is using materials science to develop the next generation of solid state lithium batteries that will power mobile phones, computers, and even cars.
Duolingo: Luis von Ahn and Gina Gotthilf, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Luis von Ahn is a Guatemalan-born serial entrepreneur and computer scientist. His previous company, reCAPTCHA, which pioneered online authentication and book digitization tools, was acquired by Google in 2009. Among many other honors, von Ahn was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a. the "genius grant") in 2006. His latest company, Duolingo, is a free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform with over 100 million users worldwide. In 2013, Apple chose Duolingo as its iPhone App of the Year, the first time this honor was awarded to an educational application.
Sproutel: Aaron Horowitz and Hannah Chung, Providence, Rhode Island
Jerry the bear is a smart stuffed animal with educational apps that help kids build healthy behaviors centered on nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness. Additional modules customize Jerry to provide specific education for chronic illnesses like type 1 diabetes. Jerry is built by Sproutel, a company founded by Hannah Chung and Aaron Horowitz. In his youth, Aaron was diagnosed with human growth hormone deficiency, a condition that also requires self-administered injections, and several members of Hannah’s family have Type 2 diabetes. Hannah was previously named as one of Inc. Magazine’s “15 Women to Watch in Tech,” and co-founded of Design for America.
Student Loan Genius: Tony Aguilar, Austin Texas
After graduating from college with over $100,000 in student loan debt and struggling to understand his options, Tony Aguilar created Student Loan Genius to give students the benefits he wishes he had. Student Loan Genius allows companies to offer a benefit that optimizes employees’ student debt and provide a matching contribution to help them become debt-free faster.
White House Correspondent