Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Is the Triangle Investing in the Wrong Things?

Originally posted by Bill Spruill on the Nctechocrat Blog. Bill is a mentor in CED's Venture Mentoring Service and current member of the Board of Directors.

Read a interesting article this a.m. in the WSJ by Chris Mims. His premise is that Silicon Valley investors have in general stopped focusing on investment in hard technology and innovation in order to focus dollars on things like faster delivery and better social networking.

I found this to be interesting as it ties into a set of thoughts I’ve shared with my network around how the Triangle community should differentiate itself by focusing on its strengths in material science, agritech, computer visualization, nanotech and hospitality (yes did you know NCCU has a top class hospitality program?).

Currently much of our investment and company building focus has been applied towards deals that compete with SV type deals. These are companies that drive eyeballs, focus on advertising or attempt to produce the next world class app that will shake the iUniverse or Android user base. One of my most admired entrepeneurs (and a friend of mine) in the area was a top student in the Chemical Engineering program at NCSU but he is focused on a social dynamic problem that is interesting but not a innovative BIG problem to solve.

I’m a big believer in playing to your strengths. Our strengths are our abilities in hard science and technology. We as a community should consider aligning ourselves towards these strengths versus feeding into an investment bubble that is possibly unsustainable over the long haul.
It might be harder and require a longer term investment horizon but the results could be so much larger and impactful on the global stage. The article is here

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