More than a dozen Silicon Valley venture capitalists traveled to Youngstown and Akron yesterday, looking for ways to invest in the Midwest.
The Comeback Cities Tour was organized by Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and his California counterpart, Congressman Ro Khanna. Ryan says the goal is to round out the uneven American economy by boosting entrepreneurs who are not based on the East and West Coasts.
“If we line up the capital with the ideas, we will have growth in communities like this. And we will be OK with a comprehensive immigration plan that brings people into this society because those are entrepreneurs, too," Ryan said. "But if there’s not money behind that in communities like ours, people will default to nostalgia.”
The group of investors included J.D. Vance, who grew up in Ohio and whose book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” detailed economic and cultural desperation hitting in parts of the Midwest. His fund focuses on entrepreneurship outside the Silicon Valley.