Venture capitalist warns US could lose technology race with China

This week on Leaders and Legends Nick Beim, partner in the Venture Capital Firm Venrock joined Aileen Black to discuss the need to sound the alarm on the United States losing the race on key technologies with China and the impact that will have on the country.

Highlights:

  • “For the first time in 70 years, American leadership in science and technology, which has underpinned our economic growth and national security since the end of World War II, is facing a serious challenge, “ Nick said.
  • He stressed that we have not lost the race: “With China this is a greater challenge than we have faced before. When faced with past challenges, the US met these challenges and overcame them. China is a different challenge.”
  • “China is making huge and very thoughtfully planned investments in areas in research. China has a deeper and more influential relationship with the private sector. They have a greater mass of engineers and have built a wealth of data,” Nick said.
  • Nick advised that America should not play defense with trade restrictions but invest heavily in research, education and partner with the private sector and academia.
  • When asked about the changing technology landscape with the advances in cloud computing, AI and 5G, he pointed out that China is proactively investing with the goal to dominate these technologies like AI, 5G, quantum and battery technology to ensure that they have no dependence. China has shared these goals. Nick also said, “The investments China is making are very aggressive, they are investing $200 billion to insure dominance.”
  • “The US runs the risk of not having or controlling the great industries of tomorrow if we don’t address this issue. The risk will cost jobs and the US economic future,” Nick said.
  • In Nick Beim’s closing comment he gave advice to the next generation: “Follow your passion that drives you most. In seeking to make a difference be a generalist and a specialist; that is the superpower in this hyper specialized world. Look to communicate cross functionally across industries.”

Nick Beim is a partner at the Venture Capital firm Venrock. Nick has deep interests in public policy and in particular how technology is changing the nature of national security. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and recently participated on a Task Force that published Innovation and National Security: Keeping Our Edge, examining how the U.S. can maintain its lead in science and technology innovation and the national security and economic consequences of failing to do so. He serves on the Executive Advisory Committee at the Center on Global Energy Policy. Nick specializes in an investment portfolio that is heavily weighted with investments that focus on National Security.