Before writing the year’s surprise nonfiction hit Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance was a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, albeit one with a background quite different than that of those around him.
And it seems Vance is getting back to his roots — both as a VC and as a resident of the rust belt. According to reports, Vance is heading home to Ohio on the hunt for venture deals for Steve Case’s investment vehicle Revolution LLC.
Going forward, Vance will locatable in Columbus — and on the hunt for firms that might otherwise be ignored by the venture funding mechanism in the U.S. And there are some serious funds on offer — Revolution funds has over $1 billion in capital to hand out to firms at all stages of development
The goals of the fund are twofold. The first is the obvious one, and the goal of all investment: Find the next Facebook and make a whole lot of money. But Vance has said that he also is interested in changing the complexion of economic development in the U.S., which tends to be unevenly balanced toward the coasts — and toward elite cities on the coast in particular. In 2010 California companies received $28.4 billion in venture funds out of a total $52.4 billion that were handed out in total. Ohio, by comparison, attracted $303 million, and Kentucky $22 million.
“A lot of problems I write about are not entirely economic,” said Vance. “But a lot of these areas have been left behind, and it does add to the problems and makes it harder to solve them. There is a lot of energy and untapped resources in these cities.”
Vance’s most recent post was at Mithril Capital, the venture vehicle for noted Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, and Vance had affirmed he will continue