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Why President Obama Likes Rubbing Elbows With Tech Entrepreneurs

US President Barack Obama speaks as FaceUS President Barack Obama speaks as Face
President Barack Obama takes the stage with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a town hall meeting April 20, 2011, at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.MANDEL NGAN AFP/Getty Images

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You might have missed the coverage amid the Internet’s myriad Brexit freakouts, but last Friday, President Obama sat down with Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Stanford University during the seventh Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Obama likes rubbing elbows with tech entrepreneurs. For the last year he’s been making the rounds at conferences like South by Southwest and giving interviews to tech sites like Recode. On his historic trip to Cuba in March, he dedicated an entire day to entrepreneurship, telling the Cuban people that starting their own companies is the way to bring their country forward. At the summit last Friday, he called out the 11 Cuban entrepreneurs in the audience.

To the crowd, he declared, “I believe all of you represent all of the upside, all of the hope, all of the opportunity that that interconnected world represents.”

So it comes as little surprise that Obama is interested in becoming a venture capitalist. (Hey, Al Gore did it!) In an interview last week, Bloomberg asked the President which industries interested him for after he leaves office. He said, “The conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying.” He likes the wardrobe too—when Zuckerberg took the stage with three other entrepreneurs from different parts of the globe, Obama noted that he couldn’t “wear a T-shirt like Mark yet,” but “in six months…”

Ironically, as Obama practiced his cool VC act in front of a crowd of startup founders, Zuckerberg practiced his elder statesman act, with practiced, sweeping “change the world” statements about empowerment, mission, inspiration, and, of course, connectivity. Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., are coming closer and closer together.

Obama noted that next year’s entrepreneurship summit will be held in India. “I’ll try to stop by if I’m invited,” he said.