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Steve Case On How To Get Funded Outside Tech Corridors (hpe.com) 35

Long-time reader Esther Schindler writes: Innovation occurs outside the Bay Area, New York, Boston, and Austin. So why is it so hard for a startup to get attention and acquire venture capital? Steve Case and Kara Swisher discussed this never-ending-topic recently, such as the fact 78% of U.S. venture capital last year went to just three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. Case sees a "third wave" of venture capital funding and through his VC firm is investing in startups based outside major tech centers.

But, points out Stealthmode's Francine Hardaway, if you're in Boise or Baltimore you don't have to wait for Case to come to town. She shares advice about what's worked in other startup communities, focusing on the #YesPhx efforts.

Conventional wisdom says you should be in a major tech center to get funding, but the article offers an encouraging counterargument. "Never rely on conventional wisdom if you're an innovator. Money follows real innovation."
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Steve Case On How To Get Funded Outside Tech Corridors

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  • No it doesn't (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joehonkie ( 665142 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @06:54PM (#54284531) Homepage
    Money follows Theranos and Juicero.
    • I came to post exactly this. Also Facebook. Another piece of shit designed only to make us feel worse.
    • There's a lot of finger pointing at the worst cases like those. Pretending it's only a few rotten apples allows investors and the industry to pretend it's not a vast sea of shit. Shkreli and Retrophin from the pharmaceutical industry for example, they were only the worst of the worst. Every damn pharma company out there is charging absurd amounts for old drugs and not spending any of it developing new ones. (The oft-cited 2.6 billion for each new drug is utter bullshit.)

      Theranos was bad, but there are hu
  • Wow, glad to see John Romero's ex is still in the industry. But the idea is ludicrous. A computer company requires computer professionals, and most computer professionals live in areas with a computer industry.

    • Dallas, for example, has about 100,000 IT professionals. How many does your company need? In my specific niche, IT security, over 100 people regularly attend IT security events. Our *monthly* OWASP meeting is probably 60 people, and that's maybe 1% of the IT security people in town, so there are roughly 6,000 IT security professionals for a company in Dallas to choose from. How many does your company need?

      Actually more than that - my company chose me from a city three hours away. To make it worth moving, th

  • Conventional wisdom says you should be in a major tech center to get funding, but the article offers an encouraging counterargument. "Never rely on conventional wisdom if you're an innovator. Money follows real innovation."

    A guy in a town we lived in, once upon a time, shot a buck white tail in the middle of town square, and got 30 days for discharging a firearm within meters of a Girl Scout cookie stand.

    I tell you that to tell you this: Most deer hunters shoot their quarry in the hill and dale, but you certainly can bag a deer near the center of civilization.

    It's just not the percentage bet.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Saturday April 22, 2017 @09:03PM (#54284897)

    Steve Case is high.

    The article starts out claiming AOL was there at the start of the Internet, and helped pave the way -- but really, "MeTooLand" (AOL) only connected itself to the Internet through a number of large VAX machines, in a last ditch attempt at to maintain relevance, in the face of educated kids asking their parents why they are paying so much money to AOL for what amounts to Internet access. AOL was the sugary cereal "adjacent to this complete breakfast".

    He states that "innovation can happen anywhere" (it can) and that "we should be funding outside traditional central areas" (debatable).

    And then his three examples are Sweetgreen, Framebridge, and OrderUp, which are all within one hour driving distance of each other in the DC/Baltimore metroplex.

    In other words: he's funding outside of "traditional central areas" by declaring a new central area, and then claiming it's not central.

    My interpretation of this, and the specific mention of these there portfolio companies for Revolution Growth, where Steve Case works, is that the VC is starting to see that a VC needs multiple VC's when it invests in a risk company, in order to spread the risk, and that no one is coming to their party.

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      And then his three examples are Sweetgreen, Framebridge, and OrderUp, which are all within one hour driving distance of each other in the DC/Baltimore metroplex.

      DC has long been a tech startup area (AOL, UUNET, DIGEX, Ciena, Living Social, etc.), and I know several people who got VC funding for their startups there. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) has been very active in DC, for example.

      However I think that the LEVEL and STUPIDITY of VC funding in DC is very different than the SF Bay Area - less money, and

  • What is so special about the east and west coast?
    Network distance and ping to Asia and the EU? Some collection of international networks in and out of the USA?
    A local US finance sector that needs really fast network speed?
    Lots of free state and federal funding for a few of the best academic locations in the USA that still grade on merit?
    A lot of optical networks thanks to the needs US gov and mil?
    The lifestyle and wealth of the local people with cash to invest in the ideas? The parts of the U
    • What is so special about the east and west coast?

      The east coast is old money, and the west coast was populated by free thinkers, the adventurous, and the mighty-testicled. The part in between is full of people who said "I'll head west" and just gave up in the middle somewhere.

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      You have all the universities (UCB, Stanford, Caltech, UCLA) as well as a critical mass of tech companies that allows interchange of staff and the creation of a new company overnight. Getting a new job is as easy as going out for lunch. This applies to the East coast as well. Neither area is lumbered with a large unemployed population claiming benefits.

      Having so many corporations means that a startup can remain in stealth mode and keep under the radar of politicians and quangocrats. I've known companies to

  • Be born rich, with rich friends, and rich connections. Grats on your funding.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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