INNOVATE2016: Are we on the verge of Brexit 2.0

Andrew Romans is a general partner of Rubicon Venture Capital and a serial entrepreneur and best-selling author.

Like everyone else, both inside and outside Silicon Valley, he’s got little else on his mind but the upcoming election. While he’s strongly in favor of Clinton, he nonetheless fears the reappearance of the BREXIT card in the November 8 vote.

“The danger”, says Romans – who lived in London for ten years, is Brexit. The danger is taking the election for granted and then being sucker punched by a vast undercurrent of populist anger against the establishment.

That said, Romans is no great admirer of the establishment. The biggest problem with the American political system is that anyone with a bit of cash can buy it, he says. Nor is Romans a fan of large corporations — especially when it comes to innovation.

Real disruption, he says, will never come from within big companies like Hewlett-Packard or IBM. Instead, innovation will always come from the edge — nurtured by funds like his own and executed by agile teams of entrepreneurs and technologists.

So perhaps it’s a little strange that somebody so critical of the establishment should be so supportive of Hillary Clinton, who is anything but an insurrectionist. For Romans — and so many start-up entrepreneurs — there’s quite a different between mindless political insurrection and productive economic innovation.

As always, many thanks to the folks at CALinnovates for their generous support in the production of this interview.