Updated May 5, 2020 - Economy & Business

AOL founder predicts coronavirus is a "tipping point" to reverse tech brain drain

AOL co-founder Steve Case

Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Tory Burch Foundation

The coronavirus pandemic could be the tipping point to reverse brain drain from the Midwest, Steve Case, AOL co-founder and venture capitalist, predicted Tuesday at an Axios event.

What he's saying: "So the question that we look for is how can we keep some of that talent in place, slow the brain drain and actually create a bit of a boomerang of people returning? And I think this crisis may be a tipping point. There are a lot of people who are rethinking things and using this as an opportunity to take a step back and reflect."

  • "The next wave of innovation isn't going to be about just apps on your phone. It's going to be about better ways to teach. It's going to be about better ways to deliver health care, food, agriculture."

The big picture: Case also emphasized that nearly 75% of all venture capital funding goes to three states: New York, California and Massachusetts.

  • "We can't lose sight of the fact that startups really create the jobs. ... Essentially all job creation comes from young startups. Not from big companies or small businesses."
  • "As a result, people with that entrepreneurial mindset, not just the tech sector, but other folks, startup sectors tend to go to the coast. So if we want to create jobs everywhere, we want to level the playing field in terms of opportunities."

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