Blog Posts > This Tech Titan Wants to Turn West Virginia Into a ‘Start-Up State’
February 2, 2024

This Tech Titan Wants to Turn West Virginia Into a ‘Start-Up State’

New York Times – John Chambers grew up in West Virginia and went on to run what was once the world’s most valuable company, the computer networking firm Cisco Systems Inc. Now he is trying to help economically lagging West Virginia by making it a “start-up state” akin to Israel, which has been called the start-up nation. I interviewed Chambers recently about his hopes and the magnitude of the challenge.

Read the full op-ed.

Short version: It’s going to be very tough.

Chambers was born in 1949 while his parents were in medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He grew up mostly in Charleston, W.Va., and earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from West Virginia University. Though he moved away to make his fortune, he never lost his love for the Mountain State, its people and its natural beauty: “canoeing the Elk River, navigating the rapids of New River, and hunting grouse near Ravenswood,” as he reminisced to WV Living magazine a decade ago.

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