North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is driving away business and hurting the entire country’s reputation, Raleigh entrepreneur Jesse Lipson of Citrix told the Democratic National Convention Monday night.
Lipson gave a four-minute speech in prime time during a segment of the convention titled “Ensuring Equality.” He sought to tie presidential candidate Donald Trump to the controversial LGBT law and praised Hillary Clinton’s proposals to aid start-up companies.
“It’s clear you don’t understand something simple about business,” he said, addressing Trump. “Nothing scares away investment like hate. Disgusting laws like North Carolina’s attack on LGBT Americans are costing my state hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s cost us the NBA All-Star Game, and it’s costing us talented programmers who are ready to build the future.
“Republicans may think they’re telling people which bathroom to go into, but they’re actually telling people which market to stay out of,” Lipson added.
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Trump has said he supports states’ rights to decide issues like HB2. Lipson was also critical of Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who came under fire for a “religious freedom” law that was viewed as discriminatory to LGBT people.
“So I guess you could say bigotry has created one job – the position of Donald Trump’s running mate,” Lipson said.
Lipson also briefly described his work founding ShareFile, a secure enterprise file sync and share system, “with $100 in advertising.” After the business grew to 3 million users within six years, Citrix acquired ShareFile in 2011.
Lipson now works as Citrix corporate vice president and general manager of the Cloud Services Business Unit. He said Clinton is the best candidate for the start-up industry.
“She’ll cut taxes and regulations for start-ups and small businesses so they can hire and grow,” he said. “She’ll invest in breakthrough R and D (research and development) so the innovative jobs of the future are created here in America.”
Lipson’s wife, Brooks Bell, is scheduled to speak at the convention Wednesday, and she also plans to mention HB2. Bell is the founder of a company that assists consumer brands in getting their messages out.