Aug 27, 2014

AOL cofounder Steve Case and Google head to Madison to hunt for hot start-ups

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Judy Newman

Local entrepreneurs will have a chance to pitch to a pioneer Internet entrepreneur and win a $100,000 investment when Steve Case and Google for Entrepreneurs come to Madison in October with their Rise of the Rest road trip.

Case co-founded America Online in 1985; 20 years later, in 2005, he co-founded Revolution, a Washington, D.C., investment firm, and since then chaired the Startup America Partnership, a White House push to support entrepreneurs. Case and his wife, Jean, also set up the philanthropic Case Foundation in 1997.

The Rise of the Rest Road Trip started in June, when Case met start-ups in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville and invested $100,000 in one company in each city.

Round two of “Rise of the Rest” bus tour starts in Madison on Oct. 6 and goes on to Minneapolis, Des Moines, Kansas City and St. Louis.

“The idea behind Rise of the Rest is that entrepreneurship can happen anywhere and that you don’t need to be in Silicon Valley or New York City to turn a great idea into a high-growth start-up,” Case said in an email. “Madison embodies that mission. The combination of a first-rate talent pool and anchor institutions like (UW-Madison) and gener8tor give it a unique and enduring platform upon which to build a vibrant start-up community.”

Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, said the tour’s stop here sends a strong message. “Midwest cities such as Madison are emerging as centers of innovation and hubs for young companies. The road trip is more evidence that investors and tech leaders from outside the region are well aware of our rising communities and companies that choose to grow here,” Still said.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 21 at About 10 companies will be chosen to make a pitch at the Majestic Theatre, and one will receive $100,000.

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