JHU HUB: 'Create the Next Amazon' and Other Thoughts From Entrepreneur Steve Case
Friday, February 16, 2018
AOL co-founder visits Johns Hopkins to kick off new Anchor Ventures speaker series
Seventy-five years ago, Silicon Valley was fruit orchids and Detroit was dominating the most exciting industry in the nation. "Things can change," Steve Case said of the tidal shifts of the U.S. innovation economy.
The famed entrepreneur and venture capitalist—who co-founded AOL before anyone believed in the Internet, and now heads the venture capital firm Revolution—visited Johns Hopkins on Thursday night to kick off a new speaker series.
Anchor Ventures, a partnership between JHU's Tech Ventures and the University of Maryland's equivalent, will host monthly gatherings to nurture connections for local entrepreneurs and investors. Funded by TEDCO, the events are inspired by a similar "café" model in Boston. Thursday's conversation was moderated by TEDCO CEO George Davis.
As the inaugural speaker, Case—whose Rise of the Rest tours focus on emerging startup scenes outside the traditional hubs—shared insight on what that scene looks like, both locally and nationally. Among his thoughts:
On what other cities can learn from Silicon Valley: "The high degree of collaboration and connectivity" in the tech hotspot should serve as inspiration, Case said, along with its openness to risk. "There's a fearlessness in Silicon Valley, ... that spirit of adventure and possibility."
On the "third wave of the Internet": Waging battle against giants like Google and Amazon—or even developing eye-catching apps—is "yesterday's battle," Case said. Today's innovators need to focus on revolutionizing fundamental industries—health care, agriculture, smart cities, etc.—from the ground up. Pointing to Baltimore's health sector, Case said the "real task is getting [new tech] integrated" with formal partnerships so regulators can approve it and doctors can actually use it.
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