Zillow, Inc. today announced Rich Barton, the company's co-founder and Executive Chairman, has been named an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE). Barton, who also founded Expedia and co-founded Glassdoor and Trover, is one of 11 PAGE members announced by the Department of Commerce earlier today. Barton is participating in PAGE kick-off meetings in the nation's capital today with a number of officials, including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah, and other inaugural PAGE members.
"I am excited to work with some of America's most dynamic businesspeople to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and around the world," said Secretary Pritzker. "America's entrepreneurial spirit has always been a key driver of our economic growth and success. Through this group, we will take what we know about transforming innovative ideas into thriving companies and share that knowledge around the country and the world.
"Beyond generating tremendous economic and employment benefits at home, our entrepreneurial spirit is also one of America's greatest exports. Not only are our entrepreneurs broadly recognized and admired, but all over the world countries are eager to replicate American practices of embracing and learning from failure; networking, teaching, and encouraging creativity; and creating entrepreneur-friendly regulatory environments. Through their work, the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship will seek to increase the number of successful startups in the U.S. and around the globe, spurring economic growth and job creation."
"I am honored to be appointed to this esteemed group and look forward to working with the President, Secretaries Kerry and Pritzker, Administrator Shah and my fellow ambassadors to help support the rise of entrepreneurs and startup ecosystems globally," said Barton. "When we encourage and support the innate excitement, innovation and drive of young entrepreneurs around the world, magic can happen. Technology has made the world much smaller, and there are local and virtual resources available to aspiring entrepreneurs today that didn't exist just a few years ago. I'm excited to do what I can to help ensure creative and transformative ideas can become a reality, wherever they happen."
Barton delivered a keynote address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Kuala Lumpur last October, which attracted more than 3,500 attendees from more than 130 countries. The theme of his keynote, "Power to the People," focused on his company creation and investment philosophy built around empowering consumers with free and transparent access to critical information like real estate data, and outlined the key ingredients he believes are essential to any startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was during this summit that President Obama announced plans to form a committee of entrepreneurs, to be chaired by Secretary Pritzker. The U.S. Department of State and the USAID are also partners in this effort.
Prior to Zillow, Barton founded Expedia inside Microsoft in 1994. He built the team and led Expedia through a spin-off and IPO in 1999. He served as President and CEO until the company's acquisition by IAC in 2003. He co-founded Zillow in 2005 with Lloyd Frink and they assembled a number of other former Expedia executives to set real estate information free to empower consumers. Barton served as Zillow CEO and Chairman from its inception until 2010 when Spencer Rascoff took the helm, and he assumed the role of Executive Chairman. The company went public in 2011. In addition to his role at Zillow, Barton also serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Glassdoor and Trover, and is a board director at Netflix, Nextdoor, RealSelf, Avvo, and non-profit Year Up. Additionally, he has been a venture partner at venture capital firm Benchmark since 2004.
Additional Ambassadors appointed today include: