The Rise of the Rest

In 2014, Steve Case launched Revolution’s Rise of the Rest, an initiative to accelerate the growth of tech startups across the country. Rise of the Rest is based on a simple idea: cities can be renewed and rise again if they develop a vibrant startup culture. A visionary entrepreneur himself, Case believes that great entrepreneurs can be found anywhere, and can thrive with the proper support and investment. In fact, they’re key to the American DNA. After all, America itself was a startup. It struggled to get going and almost didn’t make it. Today it’s the leader of the free world, in part because it has the world’s largest economy—a testament to several generations of pioneering entrepreneurs. But America needs help keeping its promises, as it is harder today for innovators who live outside the major tech hubs. For most of the past decade, seventy-five percent of venture capital has gone to just three states—California, New York, and Massachusetts—while the forty-seven states making up the rest of the country have been forced to share the remaining twenty-five percent. And it’s even harder for some people no matter where they live. Less than ten percent of venture capital currently goes to female founders, and less than one percent to Black founders. Since new companies—startups—are responsible for net new job creation, it is essential that entrepreneurs everywhere have the opportunity to start and scale companies. Rise of the Rest is about leveling the playing field for everybody, and in the process creating opportunity and jobs for the people and places that have been left behind. This book tells that story and provides a hopeful perspective on the future of America.

In The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream, Case takes readers on an exhilarating journey into the startup communities that are transforming cities nationwide. Rise of the Rest’s signature road trips, on a big red tour bus, have created significant local and national buzz and spotlighted communities large and small that have committed to a new tech-enabled future. Along the way, Case introduces readers to dozens of entrepreneurs whose inspirational stories of struggle and achievement match the most iconic examples of American invention.

To date, Case has traveled to forty-three cities on his Rise of the Rest bus tour and has been featured on 60 Minutes, and in The New York TimesUSA TODAY, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal. With dedicated venture funds, backed by an iconic group of investors, executives, and entrepreneurs including Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Meg Whitman, John Doerr, Sara Blakely, and Ray Dalio, Rise of the Rest also invests in the most promising high-growth startups located anywhere in the US outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston. The fund has invested in more than 175 companies across more than eighty cities, including: Phoenix, Chattanooga, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Louisville, Baltimore, Columbus, St. Louis, Green Bay, Madison, Buffalo, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Miami, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and dozens of others.

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Steve Case, born Stephen McConnell Case, August 21, 1958, in Honolulu, Hawaii is an American entrepreneur who cofounded America Online, Inc. (AOL), the world’s foremost internet service provider (ISP), and negotiated the merger in 2001 of AOL and Time Warner Inc. to create a global media and entertainment conglomerate.

From Ken Burns (filmmaker), “I’ve spent my life telling stories about America, and the role of pioneers cannot be overestimated. A new chapter in America’s story is now being written in cities all across the nation, as a new generation of innovators builds new companies and helps rebuild communities. Steve’s book tells those reverting stories and give us hope for America’s future.”

From David Rubensterin (cofounder of Carlyle Group), “Steve Case, one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs, has spent much of the past decade supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, in dozens of cities all across the country. The rise of the Rest is a must-read, as it provides a hopeful and optimistic view of America’s future.”

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