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Steve Case and Rise Of The Rest Announce 7th Tour Concentrated In South East

SteveCase-sxsw-2 Steve Case and Rise Of The Rest Announce 7th Tour Concentrated In South East

Steve Case speaks to us at SXSW (file photo)

Steve Case and The Rise Of The Rest Tour Head South For The Spring

Steve Case, the billionaire founder of America Online, Startup America, Revolution and Rise Of The Rest is about to embark on the 7th tour promoting entrepreneurship outside Silicon Valley. The Rise of the Rest draws it’s name from the old saying that “a rising tide, lifts all boats”. By strengthening entrepreneurial communities and ecosystems across the country, entrepreneurship nationwide is lifted up. This theory has been proven by Case time and time again throughout his second career.

Case rose to fame in the 1980s as he brought the world of the “internet” into tens of millions of homes. Case, who can be somewhat reserved and soft spoken in person, has made it his life’s work to get people talking and communicating. The last two decades he’s been getting people, specifically entrepreneurs and startups, to talk about themselves.

See many people who understand the value of the Rise Of The Rest tour, may not know that this particular work was spawned out of Startup America. With Startup America, Steve Case partnered with Priceline founding CTO Scott Case (no relation), Donna Harris and Evan Burfield, to create an Obama administration supported initiative to promote startups across the country. It was actually Startup America that spurred the idea for nibletz, 8 years ago.

riseoftherest-bus Steve Case and Rise Of The Rest Announce 7th Tour Concentrated In South EastThe Rise Of The Rest tour is part traveling startup pep rally, part pitch competition and part fund. At each stop Steve Case and others on the tour engage with the local startup community through talks, 1:1 meetings and other events. The grand event at each city is pitch contest where the winning startup will get bragging rights, oh and a $100,000 investment.  Along with the money, each winning startup will be drawn into the Rise Of The Rest community and support network to help that company grow, and lift all the other boats.  The money is part of the $150M venture capital fund put together by some of the top technology investors in the world including; Washington sports mogul Ted Leonsis, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Napster founder and early Facebook investor Shawn Parker, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Tampa Bay lightnings owner and Tampa investor Jeff Vinik, Eric Lefkosky and more. The fund is represented overwhelmingly by entrepreneurs who grew their companies outside of Silicon Valley.

This years tour will begin in May and hit Birmingham, AL; Chattanooga, TN; Dallas, TX; Louisville, KY; and Memphis, TN.

“This year, we created an itinerary around Louisville, the city that won our Bring Back the Bus challenge last fall,” says David Hall, Rise of the Rest Partner. “We selected a geographically feasible plan that would allow us to explore five exciting and diverse emerging ecosystems. We look forward to meeting founders and ecosystem builders that are supporting these entrepreneurial communities.”

“Both the Rise of the Rest bus tour and fund are helping to raise the visibility of promising startups in cities across the country — we could not be more excited to announce our new investments and the next five stops on the bus tour,” said Case in a statement. “For the past four years, we have been encouraged by the entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders we’ve met on our tours and are excited to invest catalytic capital into these Rise of the Rest regions.”

You can keep up with the latest on the Rise Of The Rest tour here. 

  • chuckblakeman

    There he goes again. Steve Case is the master of the photo-op and keeping his VC firm in the news – great for his portfolio, but not for America.

    What this and other articles always fail to mention is the AOL had a not so stellar track record, but more importantly to this issue, Startup America was an unmitigated disaster, by their own goals and data. They didn’t reach 1% of their stated goals regarding companies reached, signed up, involved, or spit out the other end. It was very quickly and quietly buried by “merging” it with another failed VC attempt for ongoing publicity, and then the whole thing drifted off into obscurity while Case put together his next venture capital PR tour (Rise of the Rest).

    Case is probably well-intentioned in some ways, but is deeply ignorant about small business -,

    – and grossly uninformed about focusing on high-growth businesses instead of all startups (especially including small business startups

    He also likes to exclude those small business sttartups as not startups, but wants to reserve that as a special word for his supposed high growth startups, almost none of which ever hit high growth or anything close to it. The irony is that just as many businesses that Case would exclude from “startup” become high growth as those that he would like to coddle and give special legislative protection to, to the detriment of all other small business startups.

    Actually, let’s go with “maybe” well-intentioned, but sadly, seemiingly willfully uninformed about what really drives economic growth. And definitely a one-note samba -> VC’s are the saviors of the American economy. Except that the data would say just the opposite, they are the worst and last resort of any good business plan, and any plan to build and keep a strong economy.

    “Rise” is just more hype and photo ops for Case, but nothing really to see here for people who actually want to grow businesses.