Scoble: Small-town America Primed To Beat Silicon Valley In Innovation

We recently were privileged to host Rackspace’s technology futurist Robert Scoble (see his presentation on ‘Beyond Mobilehere) who has been a leading voice in the tech world for years as an author, blogger, speaker and internet celebrity of sorts who documents the bleeding edge of innovative technologies that are changing our lives and businesses.

After his whirlwind visit to the Blacksburg area and several other smaller metropolitan areas, Scoble penned a telling article about a technology trend that may surprise you – the trend of high-tech companies moving away from Silicon Valley towards ‘small-town America’. Check out Scoble’s insights below, and read the full article here: where he mentions local businesses TORC Robotics, Follow My Vote, and Virginia Tech’s VR Lab.

“As Rackspace’s Futurist I’m known as one of Silicon Valley’s top tech influencers. I didn’t say that, Ivy did.

So, when I say Silicon Valley is being beaten, and is at risk of losing more companies to small towns, here’s why. In the past week I’ve visited three of those towns, Urbana, and Champaign Illinois and Blacksburg, Virginia.

You might not know, but YouTube, Tesla, PayPal, Mozilla started in Urbana/Champaign at University of Illinois there, and Blacksburg is home to many of the leading thinkers of autonomous vehicles, and others, thanks to being the home of Virginia Tech.

Yes, Silicon Valley has traditionally come to places like this and convinced innovators and companies to come to San Francisco area to build their technologies. Heck, just this week Apple grabbed a computer science professor out of Blacksburg to work on its AR/VR efforts.

I’m seeing signs that the flow of talent from small town America to Silicon Valley is reversing, though, and wanted to understand it…

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