It took a crisis for Steve Case to create one of the most iconic tech companies of all time. More than three decades ago, he says, his young company was in serious trouble when a deal with Apple fell through. Ultimately, it was the impetus to rebrand the business as America Online, a move that led to astounding growth.
Now the world is facing a set of crises with much graver consequences. While Case, now the chairman and CEO of the venture-capital firm Revolution LLC, certainly doesn't want to discount the severity of the situation, he again sees opportunities for entrepreneurs. Many, however, won't ever get a chance to take advantage, because they're consistently shut off from access to investors. That's why he's focused on broadening the range of businesses that receive venture capital.
Closing the minority funding gap is "not just the right thing to do--it's the smart thing to do," Case said during Inc.'s 'Real Talk: Business Reboot' streaming event on June 10. Case, who published The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future (Simon & Schuster) in 2016, also weighed in on a range of other topics during the Q&A session, including the future of U.S. manufacturing, how workplaces will change after the pandemic, and what the government needs to do differently to assist startups.
Check out the highlights below.
On increasing funding to minority-led businesses:
On improving your company's diversity:
On why companies need to take political positions:
On identifying new business opportunities:
On AOL's origin story:
On how work arrangements will evolve:
On moving between phases of your company:
On the rise of U.S. manufacturing:
On how lawmakers can help entrepreneurs: