For at least the past four years AOL Founder, Revolution Partner, Case Foundation co-founder, and Up Global Chairman, Steve Case is all about startups at SXSW. What you’ll find different though, about Case versus several other successful entrepreneurs is that he is extremely approachable and his eyes widen as he meets a new entrepreneur and hears their idea for the first time.
He also doesn’t go it alone. His wife Jean Case is a huge advocate for empowering women to startup and just startups in general.
While many high net worth individuals with an exit or two under their belts were hob knobbing at exclusive penthouse and rooftop parties, both Cases were rolling up their sleeves, networking with entrepreneurs and judging startup contests.
Steve Case spoke on Saturday morning to a room full of entrepreneurs at a TechCocktail event and instead of b-lining to security and some back room, he a-lined it to shake every hand and listen to every pitch. After all that’s how he met startups he’s invested in like Homesnap and Sparefoot.
At the same time will Steve was speaking at TechCocktail Jean was judging a startup contest at Startup Oasis, the hub for UpGlobal’s SXSW efforts. This particular pitch contest was in conjunction with the Kapor Center For Social Impact and all about diversification and social startups. Causes that are near to both Case’s hearts.
They had to slow down at some point right? They’re both in their 50’s right.
Nope. Both Case’s were front and center Saturday night for a startup party at the UpGlobal Startup Oasis. They made an effort to visit with every single startup that had a display space at the event and then even made a sweep or two on a balcony talking to entrepreneurs all the while.
The Case’s have been rock solid supporters of “The Rise Of The Rest” and they continue to go out of their way to make sure startup hubs across the country, both big and small are highlighted and get the attention they deserve. Maybe one day they can visit Opelika, Alabama.
We got a chance to catch up with Case and talk to him about the Rise Of The Rest and how things are going for him now. He actually seems like he could be busier these days than when he was heading up AOL.
Check out our quick video below.