Opportunity For ‘The Rest’ In Steve Case’s ‘Third Wave’

OPINION
By David D. Haynes
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In Steve Case’s new book, “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future,” the AOL founder foresees a new round of innovation — the Internet of Everything — in which the web is an organic part of every product. He’s predicting this could be great news for some struggling American cities like Detroit, Cincinnati and Buffalo

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There is no bigger evangelist for entrepreneurs right now than Steve Case.

Present at the birth of the Internet as a founder of America Online, he’s now the top dog at Revolution, an investment firm in Washington, D.C., that is plowing money into start-ups from coast to coast. Since 2014, he’s taken his “Rise of the Rest” bus tour to cities across the country.

Why go to Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh or Buffalo? Because Case believes that’s where the next big things are likely to happen.

If he’s right, it’s very good news for the lands that the venture capitalists forgot.

So far, the data don’t necessarily support the Case thesis. Money is still flowing mainly to traditional tech hubs — Silicon Valley, New York and Massachusetts, Case acknowledges. Last year, half of it went to companies in the Bay Area alone, way up from 20 years ago, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But Case believes that is about to change. He sees the signs in companies such as Detroit’s Shinola, a maker of handcrafted watches, bicycles and handbags that makes its watches in the former home of General Motors research labs in the Motor City. Case is an investor. Or in the recent success of American Underground, an entrepreneurial hub in Durham, N.C. And if his bus ever rolls into Milwaukee, he’d see it here at the business accelerator gener8tor.

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