The next Silicon Valley will be in the heart of America.

The next Silicon Valley will be in the heart of America.

The Rise of the Rest investments it extols no doubt benefited from that exuberance, and may now suffer.

Some Silicon Valley venture capitalists who were focused on growing cities may back down. But most will realize that it’s crazy that 75 percent of venture capital has gone to just three states over the last decade. In the next phase, those Rise of the Rest cities have an advantage because startups tend to be more capital efficient. They had to be, because they can’t assume they can always raise more capital.

Speaking of capital, he has raised two funds to invest in Rise of the Rest companies. What was the return on that first $150 million?

We have not announced it. We said that when we raised that fund we would generate top-tier returns. We had a pretty remarkable group of individual investors: Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz, Ray Dalio, Henry Kravis…

Are they calling you to tell you how happy they are?

They have been pleasantly surprised that we are doing as well as most expected, if not better.

So are you really saying you’re getting “top tier” returns on these regional investments?

First level.

the boy you chose to manage that fund it was JD Vance. But his book doesn’t have a single mention of him. Have you broken up with Vance since he you were YOURSELF?

He was with us for about a year, but then he moved to Ohio. I have not spoken to him since he announced that he would run for office and I have not supported that campaign. I am surprised by some of the things he has said.

You hired him in part for his uniting-the-country vibe. But he appears to have used that to promote himself before taking a totally different and divisive approach.. Do you feel snookered?

That word seems a bit strong. Most of our conversations were about the fund and the companies we support. From time to time we talked about politics, and the things he talked about seemed inconsistent with what he says now. In terms of what we asked him to do, he was very helpful. These bus tours we did were not the red vs. blue kind. While our efforts are political in terms of which economies we are rescuing and working on government initiatives that involve innovation, I have always tried to stay out of politics.

His book promotes immigration. In Silicon Valley, an unbelievable percentage of founders were born outside of the US I’m not sure the same is true in the emerging regions you’re promoting.

Those cities are more diverse than people think. Miami comes to mind, with a strong startup community where most of the entrepreneurs are from other parts of the world. Atlanta, Baltimore, and Washington, DC have a much higher percentage of black entrepreneurs than you would see in Silicon Valley, because that reflects the diversity of those communities. I believe that if the United States loses its way and ceases to be the most innovative and entrepreneurial nation in the world, the most likely cause will be not having an immigration policy that is as welcoming to people as it has been for the last two centuries. We need to build bipartisan support for immigration reform.

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