Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Tour Headed Through The Rust Belt with J.D. Vance

June 26, 2017

1:30 pm

On the road again, I can’t wait to get on the road again. That’s the tune that’s running through my head this morning as Steve Case and the Rise of the Rest team announced this morning will be hitting the road again for the 6th bus tour to celebrate and spotlight startup ecosystems across the U.S. From October 10th through 13th.

On this tour, which TechCo is again a partner, we will be making stops in an area referred to the Rust Belt, in Harrisburg – Lancaster – York, PA, Ann Arbor, MI, Indianapolis, IN, Columbus, OH. Then the following Tuesday, October 17th, the team will be popping up into Green Bay, WI during the Launch Wisconsin conference.

The tour is a brainchild of Steve Case and supported by Revolution. Case had this to say about the tour:

“Rise of the Rest celebrates and funds emerging startup ecosystems across the U.S. We are thrilled to hit the road once again to find the companies driving innovation and creating jobs across the country.”

This time, the tour will also include J.D. Vance, a venture capitalist investor who joined Revolution as a partner in March who also the author of the best-selling book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. The book struck a chord with it’s timing with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as it reflects on the struggles of the white working class in eastern Kentucky and a small Ohio town on the decline as it showed by President Trump’s message was so appealing to people living in an area some refer to as “flyover country.” Vance appeared on NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly last night and shared his story.

Other tour partners include TechCo Media, Engine, Village Capital, Startup Grind, The Economic Innovation Group, Startup Champion’s Network, Verge, Google for Entrepreneurs, and Salesforce for Startups.

During the upcoming tour, the Revolution team and partners will:

  • Bring together local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profits, universities, and public officials to discuss the opportunities and challenges of fostering startup growth;
  • Hold a pitch competition where a local startup will receive $100,000 investment; and
  • Host a fireside chat for the broader community to discuss the opportunities for regional entrepreneurship today.

On each stop of the tour there will be a startup pitch competition in which the winner will receive $100K from the Rise of the Rest. Looking to help shine a light on a number of cities that are not in Silicon Valley as call to investors to start looking at other places besides just the coasts. As Case has mentioned many times over the tour in referring to the funding issue in the a number of states:

“…75 percent of venture capital ends up in just three states (California, New York, and Massachusetts).”

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the first few cities of this tour as it coincides with our global Innovate! and Celebrate 2017 conference and the conclusion of our Startup of the Year program. That said, I plan on hopping aboard in Indianapolis, Columbus, and Green Bay. This means you may see me on the various stops in these cities as well as on stage talking with Steve Case or emceeing one of the pitch competitions. I look forward to seeing you if you’re on one of these stops on the tour.

Over the past three years the Rise of the Rest tour has been to 26 cities and logged more than 6,000 miles and Steve Case has personally invested more than $4 million in local startups.


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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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