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PI hosts the U.S. State Department and Mayor of Irvine at Startups Roundtable

Suraya SalehMarketing Communications Manager

Planet Innovation last week hosted an exclusive Startups Roundtable event with the Mayor of Irvine, Farrah Khan, and special guest, the Honorable Dilawar Syed, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

The event, held at PI’s Irvine facility, was attended by about 30 innovative Californian startups with discussions focusing on how U.S. entrepreneurs can navigate global trends and reach international markets.

PI's Mona Elkebir and Stuart Elliott meet Dilawar Syed, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and Mayor of Irvine, Farrah Khan.

PI’s Mona Elkebir and Stuart Elliott meet Special Representative Dilawar Syed and Mayor of Irvine, Farrah Khan.

Following opening remarks by Special Representative Syed, there were case study presentations by two innovative startups – Rene, a travel health and safety app, and Purist, a company developing a technology to be implemented in nuclear reactors to produce medical-grade radioactive ingredients.

PI CEO and co-founder Stuart Elliott also gave a short talk about PI’s experience working with startups. Stuart shared how PI’s flexible, end-to-end product development and manufacturing offering gave startups the freedom to ramp up and ramp down their engagement with PI to suit their needs.

After the presentations, there was discussion about key global trends and how the U.S. State Department could help entrepreneurs gain insight and access into international markets.

Special Representative Syed said: “From healthcare, to EV technology, fintech, and social entrepreneurship, the diversity and dynamism of Irvine’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is helping propel American innovation forward.”

Speaking after the event, Mayor Khan said: “I am so thankful for Planet Innovation hosting the Innovation Startups Roundtable with Special Representative Dilawar Syed. It’s critical that we support our innovation and business ecosystem with the resources it needs to thrive and this discussion facilitated that.”

Mona Elkebir, VP Commercial Operations at PI, also thanked Mayor Khan for organizing the event.

“Southern California has so many innovative startups across a range of industries and PI is delighted to be able to support this community,” Mona said. “These sorts of events are so valuable as they give entrepreneurs an opportunity to discuss business issues with policy makers such as Special Representative Syed and make connections with fellow startups and companies like PI, which not only has product development and manufacturing facilities they can tap into, but also a wealth of experience working with early stage companies.”

Following the event, Mayor Khan and Rep. Syed toured PI’s Irvine office, which is PI’s U.S. headquarters and a purpose-built manufacturing facility.

Irvine Startups Roundtable event

Suraya Saleh Marketing Communications Manager
Suraya Saleh

Suraya is the Marketing Communications Manager at Planet Innovation. A former journalist, Suraya is passionate about telling engaging stories for companies that have a positive impact on the world.

Suraya Saleh

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