Coronavirus turmoil best time to start new businesses, ‘America 2.0’0’

Billionaire Mark Cuban is hopeful the U.S. will “come out ahead of the game” after the coronavirus outbreak, largely because of the entrepreneurs who will build world-changing businesses during the extended lockdown.

With millions of people left jobless by the restrictive policies keeping businesses shuttered and consumers sheltered in their homes, the entrepreneur told Yahoo Finance on Friday that despite “the horror of it all, this is the best time ever to start a business.”

Cuban, who’s flirting with a 2020 presidential bid, declared: “And there’s no country in the world that’s better at starting companies, that has more entrepreneurs, that has a greater entrepreneurial spirit than the United States of America.” 

The 61-year-old owner of the Dallas Mavericks and investor on “Shark Tank,” predicts that the U.S. will look back on this turbulent time and realize that “25 or 50 world-class companies that were created specifically because the pandemic of 2020 happened, things that change the world.”

He added that now is the perfect time to step up and build those businesses. 

SHARK TANK – “1111” – An entrepreneur from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is banking on his cutting-edge stem cell technology to save pets from diseases in the future. A native New Yorker, who now lives in Los Angeles, California, introduces her healthier alternative to a traditional style deli meat; while an entrepreneur from Santa Monica, California, hopes his innovative and multifunctional exercise device will become the next multimillion-dollar hit in fitness. Finally, entrepreneurs from Santa Monica, California, introduce a genius innovation in outdoor furniture on “Shark Tank,” SUNDAY, NOV. 17 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Jessica Brooks via Getty Images) MARK CUBAN

Cuban also viewed the current crisis as an opportunity to invest in what he calls “America 2.0.” He called for building out manufacturing and infrastructure capabilities that are forward-looking, as the pace of technology continues to accelerate. 

“We can invest in robotics and technology that give us the opportunity to deal with the problems that are just in our lap right now — the fact that we’re not able to control our own destiny because we don’t manufacture core things that we need,” the investor said.

Manufacturing for much-needed medical and pharmaceutical supplies — most of which are currently housed abroad — can be brought back, Cuban said.

“There’s an appetite for investing in those things right now,” he said. “You know, we don’t dominate in AI like we need to. This is a chance for us to create infrastructure 2.0.” 

While he’s optimistic about the future, Cuban cautioned that there’s a long road ahead, as the virus has wreaked havoc on the economy — causing mass job losses and business closures.

He believes “this country is going to come out ahead of the game, but it’s not going to happen immediately. It’s going to be three, five — who knows — however many years when we look back and say all the economic destruction is behind us. But we will get there. That’s what we do,” Cuban said. 

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter

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