America has been on the frontier for productivity and improvements to standards of living since the 19th century. Since then, the demand for American technology and American products has appeared almost limitless. The result has been that with successive “industrial revolutions,” America’s share of the global economy has grown from about seven percent in 1850 to close to 20 percent today.

Despite competition, the US has maintained a lead in nearly every field of technology, including: software, telecommunications, aerospace, biotechnology, and energy production. Discoveries being made today involving genetics and biotechnology, computation, nanoengineering, and materials science are pointing the way to a “next wave” of innovation. As in past revolutions, the next wave will create a multiplier for industrial productivity, and the resulting economic improvement will happen where there is a richness of both human and financial capital.

A great deal of the important research and commercialization of these “Fourth Industrial Revolution” technologies is happening in the US, as opposed to developing countries. The Appalachian Investor Alliance is seeking Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies as a focus area for our deal flow. We’re helping entrepreneurs with new and growing businesses in some of the most exciting “next wave” fields, such as electronic materials, medical materials, and reprocessing of waste materials. We’re involved with agricultural technology, sensor technology, and biotechnology. We’ve backed specialty chemical companies and firms developing techniques for specialty manufacturing. There are growing markets in all of these sectors that are expected to account for over $1 trillion in enterprise value by mid-century.

The future demand for advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, and related technologies should be key to generating American exports, and to restructuring the US economy to supply the world’s appetite for improved buildings, water systems, energy plants, communications, transportation systems, medical treatments, and such advances as will raise living standards ever-higher in the years ahead. Entrepreneurial technology companies that have what it takes to be part of the next wave economy here in Appalachia are top of the list in terms of the AIA’s investment priorities.

The AIA is already making a big impact.


The Appalachian Investors Alliance brings together individual and institutional accredited investors that are committed to helping new and small businesses succeed. If your net worth exceeds $1,000,000; if your single or joint annual incomes exceeds $200,000 or $300,000 (respectively); or if you are an entity defined under US law as being an “accredited investor,” we invite you to download our free angel investing e-book by clicking on the “Should I become an Angel?” button below.