America Online co-founder and CEO of Revolution Steve Case was recently interviewed by Bloomberg, where he gave an update on his “Rise of the Rest” tour. The tour started in Detroit, continued to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Nashville where he met local entrepreneurs who took part of a startup pitch competition. He is investing $100,000 in the winning startups of each city.
The goal of this tour is to invest into startups in cities that have entrepreneurial ecosystems that are often overlooked and build momentum for new investment. “Young people are in these cities to start a company, but they are also there to build or re-build communities,” explains Case.
As for more investment coming to these “off-beat” cities, Case said that it's a matter of time before it happens, since once these companies are successful, investors don't care where they are based.
“The world is changing. Silicon Valley will continue to be very important ecosystem, but 10 years from now we will see more diversity of innovation economy, which will be great for these communities but better for our nation,” says Case.