Techonomy Detroit – Entrepreneurship and American Relevance
This panel was the opening event of the day. Hosted by David Kirkpartrick, it had Steve Case, a co-founder of AOL and Josh Linkner a Detroit enthusiast, founder of ePrize and current CEO of Detroit Venture Partners. I thought this was a spectacular way to get the day started.
Steve said things like ” when we started AOL, people who actually used the internet, were online about one hour a week”, which is a mind-blowing number. He also said in today’s Technology world, “the Battle for talent is what its all about” (See Dan Gilbert’s comments on that at the end of the day). One of the more interesting points he brought up which was later debated by Danae Ringlemann is how the traditional Blue Sky Law and Accredited Investor laws are set aside with crowd funding online. Its not quite this simple, but a big part of the equation is because with crowd funding the one requesting the funds is not giving equity for the money, they are generally giving rewards.
Next to him, Josh Linkner did his thing. He spoke eloquently about Detroit, Creativity and technology. He said a number of memorable things. Here are a few
“I think of myself as a Disrupter. This city was built by disruptors! Henry Ford was the first big one. but we got buried in bureaucracy and finger pointing. now its time to move on and deliver results”
“Technology is an enabler, not the endgame”
“there are 3 ingredients to success, 1) Ideas 2) Talant and 3) Capital . We have 2 of the 3 here in Detroit”
The quote I like the most is ” in Silicon Valley failure is a badge of honor, because we all learn from them. Here (in Detroit) failure is still looked down on. We need to change that”!
The energy in the room as this session ended was extremely high, and for a very good reason.