Josh Wolfe is the managing partner and co-founder of Lux Capital, a multi-stage venture capital firm, where he invests in deep tech companies ranging from space and advanced manufacturing to biotechnology and defense.
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‘Chinafrica’ is a macro megatrend set to impact everything from Silicon Valley to Wall Street
The TechCrunch Global Affairs Project examines the increasingly intertwined relationship between the tech sector and global politics.
The timeless quest for national competitive advantage has accelerated with globalization. During the Cold War, the United States and the U.S.S.R. fought an ideological and a military race, but never one over consumer products: No American was interested in buying a Soviet toaster.
Now, the lines are blurred; countries are fighting across their entire economies and every domain of warfare for advantage. Technological supremacy in consumer and enterprise products feeds directly into the great power race for air, land, sea, space and cyber.
Startup founders and engineers are increasingly recognizing their role in this fight, as well. These people are not George W. Bush-style jingoists, but they do want to support liberal democracy and make sure people on the frontlines have the best tools to do their jobs.
That’s a major shift from the last several decades when antiwar sentiment in the Bay Area that originated in the protests over the Vietnam War intensified into antiwar protests against the wars in Afghanistan and particularly Iraq. Despite some high-profile protests against working on national security contracts in recent years, we are now seeing a return to Silicon Valley’s original culture of pioneering defense tech to protect the American homeland and its allies from adversaries. Indeed, more and more people want to work exclusively with the Pentagon and our allies on defense tech, particularly as confronting the rise of China has become one of the few truly bipartisan positions in a polarized Washington.
For engineers diving into defense tech, the challenges and opportunities in every…