Friday afternoon local entrepreneurs gathered in the Triangle Startup Factory offices to hear Eric Schmidt share his views on education, innovation and the coming election.

Eric is currently the Executive Chairman of Google after serving 10 years as their CEO.  Prior to Google, Eric was CEO of Novell, President of Sun and started his career at Bell Labs and later Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).  He has been in the middle of every technological wave since the early 80’s.

Over 150 people packed into the TSF offices Friday afternoon to hear Eric talk about his strong belief that education is the key to our future success.  An educated workforce creates innovation opportunities that can be leveraged for years to come.  He reiterated that trianing the brightest from around the world and then forcing them to leave the country once their formal education is down only to have these best and brightest start companies outside of our country just makes no sense.

He added that we should double-down on government-sponsored research not cut as some have proposed.

After about 20 minutes of prepared notes, he answered about 7 or 8 questions.  Prior to arriving, Michael Goodmon gave Eric a short tour of the American Tobacco Campus highlighting the growing nature of the Durham startup scene.

Ronnie Chatterji, current Associated Professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and former Senior Ecomonist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors also joined Eric at the event.