While President-elect Donald Trump's victory has roiled Silicon Valley, it shows why California's tech elite need to stop treating middle America like "flyover country," said Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.
"I hope he really does bring the country together and work together here in Washington, D.C., in more of a bipartisan way to get things done," Case told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday. "I also hope he builds a bridge between the innovators in places like Silicon Valley, and people all across the country. .... We need to make sure the job creation, the innovation, the energy of this economy are broadly dispersed. And I think part of the frustration we saw last week with the election is a lot of people feeling left behind."
Trump's election shocked many coastal tech CEOs and investors, who said they were "terrified" and called the results "tragic." Trump got about 20 percent of the vote or less in San Francisco and Santa Clara County, The New York Times reported, giving most big tech companies little exposure to the pro-Trump populace.
Case is the chief of a technology investment firm that looks to fund start-ups outside liberal Silicon Valley — including many areas where Trump managed to dominate the polls. After traveling across the country, Case said he's seen how entrepreneurs in middle America feel about how Silicon Valley treats the status quo in core industries like agriculture.
"It's not just President-elect Trump reaching out to Silicon Valley — it's also Silicon Valley reconnecting with the rest of the country, because this has been an area of frustration," Case said. "They do feel left out. They really do feel left behind. They feel like people are talking past them, even calling them the flyover country. But the next wave ... of innovation, will be in sectors in agriculture and health care and education."
Case endorsed Hillary Clinton for president earlier this year, citing her promises to invest in education and technology-driven jobs, promote high-skilled immigrants, and rein in the national deficit. Clinton, unlike Republican rival Donald Trump, released a detailed plan on technology and innovation.
Still, Case said, venture capitalists have a role to play in building bridges in areas with Trump strongholds. It starts by focusing on funding jobs all across America, he said.
"If you're an entrepreneur in Detroit or Des Moines or Madison or many other parts of the country, it's much harder than if you're in San Francisco or New York," Case said. "So they too feel left out. And because start-ups really create the jobs. ... We need to support entrepreneurs everywhere."