REBOOT: The Techies’ Campaign Epicenter Heading into 2016


Some of the best and brightest young minds in tech have descended upon San Francisco for the second annual Reboot Conference heading into some of the most intense eighteen months the country has ever seen.

Reboot is hosting speakers anywhere from Barack Obama’s White House former Digital Director Nate Lubin to Romney, Rubio, and Walker’s tech minds, to name a few. Tech industry movers and shakers for companies like PayPal, Eventbrite, Storyful, Buzzshift, uCampaign, and Nationbuilder, among many others, will attend.

The event comes a week after libertarian and conservative minded Americans met in Las Vegas, Nevada for Freedom Fest, and it hits an ever increasingly targeted contingent of young libertarian and freedom minded Americans.

Friday night Reboot kicked off with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and the Title II Panel: Scott Banister, Berin Szoka, and Dan Berninger with Michelle Quinn moderating. Attendees noted the sessions Friday as policy heavy while amply touching on the issue of net neutrality.

Next up was a “Fireside Chat” with Rep. Fred Upton (MI), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (OR) with Joe Garofoli moderating.

In true tech conference fashion, Szoka, President of Tech Freedom, took to Twitter during the Fireside Chat, referencing comments by Upton, “We need an administration that can work with the Congress, of EITHER party” and Walden, “Media ignores it but GOP actually WON younger voters in House races (2014). We’ve figured out how to reach them.”

Lincoln Labs tweeted citing Upton, “Keystone Pipeline is an issue that is over for this Congress.”

One of the more expedient, yet interesting moments of the evening was the rapid-fire 30-second Hackathon pitches. A spokesperson for each Hack team was given 30 seconds to pitch their idea. Many leaned toward donation applications and some amalgamation of philanthropy and political contributions with data applications to better track contribution trends.

The teams are spending most of the 24 hours they are given to bring their creative vision to fruition, some forgoing sleep for the benefit of completing their projects.

Saturday evening teams will give a three minute pitch with their project at whatever stage they’ve been able to pound out together for presentation in front of Rebooters at the Hackathon Finale. Top Hackathoners will split a $10,000 prize pot with no strings attached and no loss of equity interest in their budding project.

Last year Rand Paul came out courting the more libertarian and conservative leaning tech minds. The 2016 hopeful seems to have sat this one out. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers kicked the conference off last year.

Reboot, a production of Licoln Labs, was founded by SendHub co-founder Garrett Johnson, Conde Nast Director of Engineering Chris Abrams, and Everlane leader of growth and product development Aaron Ginn, who also served on Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign. Johnson worked as staff to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 2009 to August 2011, during which Republican Senator Dick Lugar served as ranking member. Ginn presently holds a position on the California Republican Party’s executive committee.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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