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…

TechWorking: ‘Beyond Mobile’ with Futurist Robert Scoble – January 25

Techworking sponsored by Rackspace

Over the next decade we will look at our smartphone screens less and less as we use things like Magic Leap more and more. Augmented Reality is coming. Virtual Reality will take entertainment minutes away. Even if you use your mobile phone’s screen to watch a virtual reality event, it will be quite a different experience than staring down at a mobile phone in your hands.

Plus, you will look at, and interact with your world quite differently thanks to beacons, Internet of Things, new kinds of sensors and artificial intelligence systems to fuse data, analyze it, and present it in new ways.

Think this is science fiction? Technology futurist Rober Scoble will bring you a number of companies that are bringing ground-breaking technologies to you today, including in airports, football stadiums, and shopping malls.

We will talk about how cloud is everywhere in this new world and the trends that are soon to be hitting us, whether in self driving cars or augmented reality glasses, and how our businesses need to prepare now.

Robert ScoblePresented by Robert Scoble. As Futurist for Rackspace, the leading Managed Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what’s happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace. He’s interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books (“The Age of Context,” a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at , YouTube, and many social media sites where he’s followed by millions of people.

Monday, January 25, 5:30-7:30 PM

Inn at Virginia Tech, 901 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060

RBTC Member $15.00
Non-Member $23.00

Complementary Registration for the first 25 Students that register onsite with a valid. Student ID; $5.00 thereafter