AOL co-founder Steve Case is leading a venture capital ‘revolution’ beyond Silicon Valley

For nearly a decade, America Online co-founder Steve Case has traversed the U.S.

He found a lot of them. So many that several other big names in business joined his mission, and he wrote a book about the experience titled “The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places Are Building the New American Dream.”

Steve Case

AOL co-founder Steve Case is leading a movement to invest in startups outside the coasts. (revolution)

Revolution launched two $150 million promotion of the rest seed funds to invest in seed stage companies between the coasts (the first $150 million fund launched in 2017, the second in 2019). A group of ​​investors support the funds, executives and founders, including Jeff Bezos, Ray Dalio, Sara Blakely, Henry Kravis, Eric Schmidt, Tory Burch and John Doerr.

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To date, The Rise of the Rest Seed Fund has invested in nearly 200 companies in more than 100 cities.

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Case says he and his fellow investors recognize that there has been a disconnect and disparities in terms of where capital has been distributed over the past decade, with 75% of venture capital drawn to just three states: California, New York and Massachusetts.

Steve Case

Steve Case during a “Stand of the Rest” bus tour stop in Louisville, Kentucky, May 11, 2018.

“First and foremost, we think the best way to get more capital to more people and more places is to generate returns that really get the coastal investors to pay more attention to the cities in the middle of the country,” Case told Fox Business.

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He added that they also recognize that the mission has a “broader impact in terms of being able to create more jobs and opportunities and a lot of towns in the middle of the country that felt kind of left out and left behind.”

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While the pandemic slowed Revolution’s bus tours, it poured fuel on its mission at large.

Case says the pandemic served as an accelerant to what he sees as a tipping point in terms of how people think about remote work and flexibility, and at the same time, venture capitalists realized they could have pitch meetings with entrepreneurs outside their own backyards. .

Steve Case

Steve Case awarded money to a startup in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a “Stand of the Rest” bus tour.

The new era of people who can work from anywhere also has the potential to end the “brain drain” that occurs when skilled workers or entrepreneurs feel they need to leave their communities to be part of a startup – which are essential for work Creation in the US

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Case says this is already happening across the nation where entrepreneurs are disrupting major industries in places people might not expect, and that makes him optimistic about America’s future.

“There are a bunch of things that divide us,” he told FOX Business. “This is an issue that can unite us: How do we maintain our leadership globally, around innovation, entrepreneurship? How do we do it in a more inclusive way? And how do we write the next chapter of the American story that really is centered around New ideas? Through a pioneering spirit and innovation.”


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