New Rise of the Rest Road Trip Revealed

Today, Feb. 14th we announced the first round of investments from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund and the next five cities on our seventh Rise of the Rest road trip!  The first startups to receive an investment from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund represent cities across the country from Pikeville, KY to Columbus, OH to Salt Lake City, UT. These companies are further proof that there are compelling startups starting and scaling outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston.  This spring, the bus tour will make stops in Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga, TN, Dallas, TX, Louisville, KY, and Memphis, TN to showcase emerging startup ecosystems and invest $500,000 from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund ($100,000 will be invested in a local startup at each stop).

Case founded his Washington, DC-based venture capital firm Revolution in 2005 with what he called a “Rise of the Rest” ethos: the idea that there are more places to invest in than California, New York, and Massachusetts. These three locations — essentially Silicon Valley, Manhattan, and Cambridge — have been the country’s startup centers for decades, and they have taken an increasing share of investments in the last decade, according to CB Insights. The firm reported that the states accounted for roughly 75% of all US venture capital funding from 2014-2016.

Case saw this trend in 2014 and decided to double down on one of his investing principles, resulting in the first Rise of the Rest bus tour, a four-day investing trip through the Rust Belt cities of Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cincinnati, and then ending in Nashville, which had emerged as one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Each day, he’d meet with local entrepreneurs and city leaders and host a startup pitch competition in which the winner received $100,000 of his personal wealth toward a seed round.

Significant change wasn’t going to come from one day in each city, but the idea was to start ongoing relationships in these communities and put a media spotlight on their business scenes.  Case and members of his Revolution team have gone on six more bus tours, establishing a network across 33 American cities. So far, Case has invested more than $3 million of his personal money during the tours, and to date, Revolution has invested more than $1 billion across its funds in companies outside of the Bay Area.

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