Public Entrepreneurship: How to Innovate within Government and Bring New Ideas to the Table

1-Hour Breakout Session
Wednesday, May 11 from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET
ECQ 1: Leading Change
Attendees Can Earn 1 CPE Credit

Do you leave work every day with new ideas for how your organization could do things faster, smarter, better? You are, what we call, a public entrepreneur — someone who is searching for new and innovative ways to address public challenges and needs. We are here to help teach you how to turn those ideas into action within your organization. Leveraging real-world examples that we’ve had the opportunity to drive forward at the State of California, we’ll talk about harnessing and operationalizing new ideas to create value for those we serve.

In this interactive session, you will learn how to be an entrepreneur within your organization — how to introduce new ideas and manage the associated risk, generate executive support, create innovative and lasting initiatives, and, make a meaningful impact on the constituents/end-users you serve.

Key Takeaway: In this interactive session, you will learn how to cultivate buy-in, create lasting energy and support for your initiative and get a seat at the decision table. 

Relevant Competencies: Continual Learning, Resilience, Interpersonal Skills


Phoebe Peronto, Deputy State Chief Technology Innovation Officer, State of California 

The California Department of Technology has selected Phoebe Peronto as the deputy state chief technology innovation officer.

“Phoebe brings unmatched skill, energy and creativity to her new role,” said Klau, who’s also the director of OET within the technology department. “She joins a vibrant team that is revolutionizing the way state government is serving Californians through technology.”

Peronto and her new boss share roots in the startup world and with two tech giants. Both have worked for Google and its subsidiary Google Ventures (now, where Peronto held operational and investing roles. Klau is also an alum of Google and Google Ventures, and he has worked with tech startups.

After completing a master’s degree in business administration at Harvard Business School, Peronto joined Salesforce Ventures in 2018 as a principal investor. There, she evaluated and invested in enterprise software-as-a-service companies in various sectors, including retail/commerce, developer tools, and emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and blockchain.

“In 2019, Peronto shifted her career to the startup world, where she served as the head of operations for a seed-stage consumer business based in San Francisco,” CDT’s announcement said.

Twitter: @pperonto

Rick Klau, California Chief Technology Innovation Officer

A long-time startup entrepreneur, I moved to Google as a result of its acquisition of FeedBurner in 2007. After a year in business development at Google, I transitioned into product management, where I worked on Blogger, Google+, and YouTube. In 2011, I joined GV as a member of the operating team.

In February 2021, I was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve as California’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer, where I run the Office of Enterprise Technology. 

Twitter: @rklau