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Aneesh Chopra inspired the teams of Startup Weekend to build local ecosystems of innovation and attack sectors such as health care and education to deliver new applications, processes and business models to drive America forward. As the former CTO of the United States Chopra emphasized the coming challenges and opportunities of crowd sourced funding and open data to literally open up a range of new opportunities. Opportunities that for Virginians would allow our own economy to strike a greater balance alongside defense and government spending.

Chopra painted the picture of value driven health care services that used the power of technology to address key issues and reduce cost in the system. He specifically mentioned telemedicine efforts for high risk pregnancy and its power to enable specialists to assist in reducing premature births. In education and clean technology the theme of data emerged and its power to influence behavior. For children and families access to information transforms into personal learning plans and for the energy consumer access to data can simplify selecting the right plan to save money without compromising comfort and utility.

Indeed, the coming decade and beyond is filled with new opportunities for entrepreneurs in tech, manufacturing and service based businesses to create vibrant local ecosystems that feed back into sustainable, growing communities. Is starters it was great to hear, as a group dedicated to growth of RVA and Virginia we welcome the energy and inspiration of Aneesh Chopra and wish him the best as he continues his journey to evangelize the power of innovation and entrepreneurship!

Joey Figaro