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 criss-crossed the United States on bus tours visiting cities outside of traditional tech centers in search of innovators and entrepreneurs. to return to DC investment firm, Revolution.

He saw her a lot. Many other big names in business joined his mission, and wrote a book about the experience titled “The Rise of the Vacation: How Destination Entrepreneurs Are Building the New American Dream.” amazing.”

Steve Case

AOL co-founder Steve Case leads an initiative to invest in offshore startups. (Revolution)

Revolution has launched two $150M Rise of the Rest Seed Funds to invest in intercoastal seed companies (the first $150M fund launched in 2017, the second in 2019). The fund is backed by a group of investors, 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 over 100 cities.

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Case said he and his fellow investors acknowledge that there has been a misunderstanding and disagreement over the distribution of capital over the past decade, with 75% of venture capital being attracted to the state. just three: California, New York and Massachusetts.

Steve Case

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

“First of all, we think that the best way to get more capital to more people and more places is to generate returns that really make the coastal investors focus more on the cities in the middle of the country,” Case told FOX Business.

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He added that they also agree that the mission has a broader impact in terms of creating more jobs and opportunities and many villages in the middle of the country that felt marginalized and abandoned.

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Although the epidemic slowed Revolution’s tour, it drained fuel from its overall mission.

Case said the pandemic has accelerated what he sees as a tipping point in how people think about remote work and flexibility, and at the same time, venture capitalists felt they could make they are meeting with entrepreneurs outside their backyard.

Steve Case

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

This new era of people being able to work from anywhere could end the “brain drain” that occurs when skilled workers or entrepreneurs feel they need to leave their communities to be part of the startup – which is essential for job creation. in the United States

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Case said it’s already happening across the country where entrepreneurs are disrupting major industries from places people might not expect, and that makes him optimistic about America’s future.

“There are many things that separate us,” he told FOX Business. “This is an issue that can bring us together: How can we maintain our global leadership, around innovation, about entrepreneurship? How can we do that in a more integrated way? And how do we write this next chapter in American history that real. based on new ideas? Through pioneering spirit and innovation.”

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