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Mark Cuban, Steve Case Discuss Startup Statistics, Investments And Silicon Valley

Mark Cuban, Steve Case Discuss Startup Statistics, Investments And Silicon Valley

Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution and the former CEO of AOL, joined Mark Cuban in a panel at the SALT Conference covering the startup landscape.

The businessmen shared their views on Silicon Valley and beyond in a conversation with Recode executive editor Kara Swisher.

Opportunity In Different Regions

In the world of technology, there has been a distinct push for businesses and executives to operate out of Silicon Valley. For Cuban, this was never a consideration — despite the fact that 50 percent of venture capital funding goes to the region.

“It never even dawned on me that I should be in Silicon Valley; in fact, it was so much more friction-free being in Dallas, which made it a lot easier," Cuban said.

Case told the crowd that much of the domain expertise and many of the partnerships that will be critical in the third wave of startups are "in the middle of the country."

The bulk of the opportunity is in cities with expertise, but few advancements will be made if all the money is being allocated somewhere else, he said.

Cuban said the locations where businesses are being started have shifted dramatically.

"Over the last 10 years, when you’re in those concentrated areas, you’re competing with limited resources, whereas AI and the best technologists are coming from elsewhere," the owner of the Dallas MAvericks said.

See Also: Scooter Braun On Creating Stars, Innovation In Popular Culture

Startup Investments

During the chat, Swisher said investors aren't paying attention to these distinct changes in location and technology demographics, but Cuban seemed to disagree.

“Investors are. They’re investing locally, because you can’t miss it. It’s cheap and there’s a variety of opportunities.”

Startups like barber shops and labor-focused businesses have decreased drastically because people are not learning trades like they have in the past, Cuban said.

“However, aside from those, I have not seen any shortage of startups, or any shortage of anyone wanting to start a company,” he said. “In fact, we have 50,000 people trying out for 'Shark Tank' every year.”

As might be expected from two very successful entrepreneurs, the speakers did not agree on the subject at hand.

Case said the data shows that the number of startups is down.

"But there is an ethos that leads more younger people to want to start a company, but they feel like they have to leave where they are to do that.”

Investors like pattern recognition, Case said.

“They like more in the future than what has worked in the past, and in the past 10 years, there have been more investments in Silicon Valley and people are doing more of the same.”

Cuban interjected with his take.

“Companies that I’ve invested $5,000, $50,000, $500,000 or $1 million — they are everywhere but Silicon Valley and they are my best companies.”

Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia


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