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Our innovation economy is broken. But there's good news: The ideas that will solve our problems are hiding in plain sight. While big companies in the American economy have never been more successful, entrepreneurial activity is near a 30-year low. More businesses are dying than starting every day. Investors continue to dump billions of dollars into photo-sharing apps and food-delivery services, solving problems for only a wealthy sliver of the world's population, while challenges in health, food security, and education grow more serious. In The Innovation Blind Spot, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ross Baird argues that the innovations that truly matter don't see the light of day-for reasons entirely of our own making. A handful of people in a handful of cities are deciding, behind closed doors, which entrepreneurs get a shot to succeed. And most investors are what Baird calls "two-pocket thinkers"-artificially separating their charitable work from their day job of making a profit.
Ross Baird is an entrepreneur and investor who is best known for finding, developing, and investing in entrepreneurs in places and industries where most people aren't looking. He founded Village Capital in 2009 and has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in over fifty countries since then. He has visited over a hundred cities worldwide by train, plane, and bus in an effort to find new entrepreneurs and help people supporting them, and he and Village Capital have partnered with over twenty Fortune 500 companies to help large institutions uncover new innovations. Before joining Village Capital, Ross worked for a venture capital firm and was on the founding team of four different startups. Ross and his work have been featured by more than fifty media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Inc., and FastCompany. He has also lectured in entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia since 2012. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.