Rebecca Fannin

Journalist, Author & Global Innovation Expert
  • Expert on global innovation and author of four forward-looking books
  • One of the first American journalists to write about China's entrepreneurial boom
  • TV and radio commentator and contributor to CNBC
  • Founder of Silicon Dragon Ventures, focused on tech innovation and investment news and events

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Rebecca is a CNBC contributor, media entrepreneur and author of four books including her latest one, Silicon Heartland: From Rust Belt to Tech Belt (2023). Rebecca’s forward-looking and resource-rich books (Silicon Dragon, Startup Asia and Tech Titans of China) have launched her as a commentator and public speaker. A guest on BBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, and NPR, and a quoted expert in the New York Times, she has spoken at SXSW, the Brookings Institution, Asia Society, Harvard, Yale, and Oxford.

A graduate of Ohio University Scripps School, Rebecca began her journalistic career at the Dayton Journal Herald. From Ohio to NYC and a reporter’s job at Crain Communications and later to the hottest Silicon Valley publication, she then covered Asia’s emerging markets and China’s entrepreneurial boom. She became a Forbes columnist for 10 years, and wrote for Harvard Business Review and several thought leadership publications. In 2010, she formed as her own media and events group covering global innovation trends. At CNBC, she writes features and profiles innovators for the Disruptor 50 special report.

Rebecca grew up in Lancaster, Ohio, and now returns to her roots to unearth new innovation hubs developing throughout the Great Lakes and Appalachia, and transforming the regional economy from former “Flyover Country.”  For Silicon Heartland, Rebecca traveled 10,000 miles on a grass-roots reporting trip in her Honda Element to interview dozens of leaders – from mayors to founders to investors to business leaders and developers – at the forefront of this transition.

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Speaker Video

Rebecca Fannin - Transforming the Midwest from Rust Belt to Tech Belt

How China’s tech sector is challenging the world - Part 1

Rebecca Fannin Talks "Tech Titans of China"

Why China Could Win The Technology Race

Tech Titans of China

Silicon Heartland: Transforming the Midwest From Rust Belt to Tech Belt: Remote industrial regions in the American Midwest that were nearly forgotten when money and power shifted to Silicon Valley and to China are now being rebooted and reenergized. What has been known as the Rust Belt is developing the shine of a Tech Belt. This comeback bodes well for the nation's economy and global competitiveness.   

For too long ignored as “flyover country,” the once-mighty Midwest is experiencing a quiet but compelling revolution powered by savvy venture capital, high-tech innovation, entrepreneurial boldness, and good old American moxie. What has been known as the Rust Belt is now developing the shine of a tech belt. Restoring the former Heartland region’s vibrancy and prosperity with a social and economic turnaround that is diverse, contemporary, and solidly realized.

Based on Rebecca's 150+ interviews and 8,000 road trip miles in her Honda Element, Silicon Heartland takes readers on an investigative tour of a new frontier in tech innovation.

The Splinternet: A break in technology standards between China and the rest of the world. Its disruptive impact on global innovations.  

How Multinational Companies can Strategize for the Chinese Market during challenging times in US-China relations. Where the opportunities exist, and how to maximize them. 

Impact of US and China policy changes in the tech sector and how multinationals and emerging companies can prepare for a shift in greater scrutiny of cross-border investment flows. 

The Biggest Misconceptions about China Technology Innovation. How China has risen from imitator to innovator. How Tencent, Alibaba and a group of newcomers are changing the world order by innovating faster, working harder and going global. 

Is Asia About To Out-Innovate America? Americans have suffered the loss of jobs to East Asia, but have retained an edge in terms of advanced technological innovation. But now, start-up companies are emerging in China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan and are attracting some of the best and brightest from the West to create innovative new ideas and take them to global markets. Can they really do it? What should be the American response?

Top Strategies For Cashing In On Asia’s Innovation Boom. Author Rebecca A. Fannin gives a close-up view into the key growth trends shaping venture capital, and entrepreneurship in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Singapore, and Taipei plus Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. She shows how a new generation is no longer looking to the West for cues but is instead crafting their own local business models and succeeding in tackling the risks of doing business in Asia’s developing markets. Providing case studies from mobile communications, cleantech, social networking, gaming, and biomedical companies in Asia, she shows how Asian upstarts are going global, creating breakthroughs, and heading to Wall Street. 

The rise of Chinese Tech Titans and Impact on Global Innovation and Investment Trends. How the U.S. can stay ahead. 

The rise of the Industrial Midwest as a Tech Belt bodes well for the U.S. economy

How New Technology Clusters in Key Heartland Cities Define A New Future

Getting Ready for Intel in Ohio and a New Made In America Frontier 

How Silicon Heartland Cities Are Jockeying for Investment to Build Back Better

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