Spreading Venture Capital to “Everybody, Everywhere”

Wall Street Journal writer Deborah Gage reported this week that, “Silicon Valley continues to attract more venture capital and more startups than anywhere in the U.S., but Steve Case says that has to change. The AOL co-founder and chief executive of investment firm Revolution LLC says ‘everybody, everywhere‘ should get a shot at the American dream.

Revolution has invested $840 million in startups outside of California, New York and Massachusetts, and its Rise of the Rest startup bus tours—a series of weeklong tours of startups, meetings with elected leaders, speeches at incubators and pitch competitions—focus on entrepreneurs outside those states. Mr. Case has personally invested $4 million in pitch-competition winners.

“People in the middle of the country especially are feeling ‘left out and left behind,’ Mr. Case says, and he talked to The Wall Street Journal about why that needs to change.”

Mr. Case indicated that, “I think many of the answers will be in the middle of the country, because for many of the perspectives that are needed—for instance, to reimagine agriculture—it’s helpful to be working with farmers and be close to farmers. If you really want to rethink health care, spending time in Cleveland at the Cleveland Clinic or in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic or in Texas at MD Anderson or in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins is important.”

Mr. Case also pointed out that, “I’m bullish on Silicon Valley—I don’t want to sound overly critical—but we do need to figure out ways to make sure this next wave of entrepreneurship, particularly in the U.S., is more inclusive, and that includes regional inclusivity and also different people.”

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