The Rise of the Rest investments you applaud have certainly benefited from that excellence — and may now suffer.
Some Silicon Valley venture capitalists who are focused on rising cities could pull out. But most will realize it’s crazy that 75% of venture capital has moved to just three states in the past decade. In the next stage, those Rise of the Rest cities have an edge because startups there tend to be more capital-efficient. They must be, because they cannot assume that they can always raise more capital.
Speaking of capital, you’ve raised two funds to invest in Rise of the Rest companies. How much profit on that first $150 million?
We did not publish it. We said when we raise that fund, we will make the most profit. We have a pretty notable group of individual investors — Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz, Ray Dalio, Henry Kravis…
Are they calling you to say how happy they are?
They were surprised that we were doing as well as most of them expected, if not better.
So are you really saying that you are getting “top” returns from investments in this area?
He was with us for about a year, but then he moved to Ohio. I haven’t spoken to him since he announced he’s running for office and I don’t support that campaign either. I was surprised by some of what he said.
You hired him in part because of his vibe in bringing the country together. But he seems to have used that to promote himself before adopting an entirely different, divisive approach.. Do you feel snoring?
That word seems a bit strong. Most of our conversations are about the fund and the companies we’re supporting. We talked about politics from time to time, and what he said didn’t seem to match what he was saying now. Regarding what we asked him to do, he was very helpful. The bus trips we did were not a red versus blue thing. Although our efforts are political on the issue that we are rescuing the economy and in carrying out government initiatives related to innovation, I always try not to stay out of politics. treat.
Your book touts immigration. In Silicon Valley, an unbelievable percentage of founders were born outside the US. I’m not sure this is also true in the developing regions you’re advertising.
Those cities are more diverse than people think. Miami comes to mind with a strong startup community where the majority of entrepreneurs come from other parts of the world. Atlanta, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, have a much higher percentage of black entrepreneurs than you’d find in Silicon Valley, because that reflects the diversity of those communities. I believe that if America loses its way and ceases to be the most innovative country in the world, the most likely cause is that it will not have an immigration policy that is as welcoming to its people as it has been for several centuries. past century. We need to build bipartisan support for immigration reform.