For a little software firm in North Carolina, Geomagic is getting a lot of attention from the White House lately. And that can’t be a bad thing for the 3D imaging industry. While I’m fairly certain the vast majority of Americans who hear the company referenced by the president have absolutely no idea what they actually do (heck, the vast majority of Americans have a tough time telling you what the President does), it’s still true that 3D is almost always mentioned when Geomagic is, and that’s good for everyone working in the medium.
First, Geomagic CEO Ping Fu was asked to come and participate in a forum at the White House on Jan. 14, with 49 other CEOs, to talk about using technology to modernize government. Even in that first write-up, Geomagic gets a good and accurate description:
The Research Triangle Park company she co-founded in 1996 makes 3D software that allows customers such as NASA and Harley Davidson to build realistic digital models of products. Geomagic continues to prosper during the downturn and is planning on adding to its 100-employee workforce again this year.
Fu, too, comes off as a wise and eye-open contributor:
And Fu, a Chinese native, has a pretty good idea of why she got picked to attend the forum. “Obama wants diversity, so I wasn’t a surprise choice,” Fu said. “I’m one of the few female CEOs in high tech.”
Apparently, Obama was impressed, or Fu was politically convenient in her diversity, or both. Because the White House invitations didn’t stop there.
Fu ended up sitting with the First Lady during the State of the Union Address (a lot of people sit “next” to the First Lady during that address – “next” is something of a relative term in politics. Like “is”), and then helped kick off Obama’s small business initiative on Jan. 31:
She got a call from White House officials Saturday night, asking her to be in Washington by Monday morning. She didn’t hesitate.
“It’s important for entrepreneurs to have a voice in the capital,” Fu said. “This is a starting point, but this administration really seems to get it.”
And as a member of the administration’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Fu said she “will play a role in shaping the policies and making sure the execution bears fruit.”
It simply cannot be a bad thing for a relatively niche industry like 3D imaging to have such a strong advocate so well placed in Washington. Good for Fu and good for Geomagic for seizing the opportunity and investing time and energy in the process.
Yesterday Geomagic even got a nice shout out during President Obama’s address to the Chambers of Commerce.
Which, of course, was captured and loaded to YouTube (which is convenient):
Pretty cool, right? Caterpillar. Dow. Geomagic. Same thing.