The Trump administration has invited some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent venture capital firms — like Accel and Sequoia Capital — to a meeting at the White House next week focused on emerging technologies, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
Part of the president’s forthcoming, five-day focus on “tech week,” as sources previously described it to Recode, the White House will seek investors’ views on ways to make it easier for them to fund new gambits in drones, the so-called “internet of things” and the 5G wireless technologies that make some of those tools possible.
It is unclear who, if anyone, from Accel and Sequoia may attend, and both did not comment for this story. Other firms appear to have been invited as well, the sources said.
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At least two invitees, however, won’t be making the trip to Washington D.C. One is the Columbus, Ohio-based Drive Capital, which stressed it couldn’t attend because of scheduling conflicts, not politics. The second is Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Axios previously reported on KPCB’s absence.
The White House, for its part, declined on Monday to detail the full list of firms it had invited next week. Along with the tech industry’s top investors, the Trump administration is also hoping to hear from major companies like Amazon, Intel and Google at the planned June 22 meeting, sources previously said.
The gathering comes days after Trump intends to convene the leaders of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest players to discuss ways to modernize the U.S. government and improve the services it offers citizens online. High-skilled immigration, cybersecurity and education also round out the list of agenda items for the inaugural meeting of the American Technology Council, an effort led by Chris Liddell, a top White House advisor and former chief financial officer at Microsoft.
Top executives from Apple, Google, Intel, Oracle, Qualcomm and others are slated to attend that session, sources previously confirmed. There, another major investor will also be in the room: Peter Thiel, who advised Trump during the early days of his presidency.
But the Trump administration’s so-called “tech week” — mimicking the focus on infrastructure last week, and now, workforce development beginning today — comes at a time of renewed strain between the White House and Silicon Valley. Tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google number among the hundreds of U.S. businesses that have criticized the president after he announced his plans to withdraw from a major international climate agreement.
—By Tony Romm, Re/code.net.
CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode’s parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.