Think innovative companies can happen anywhere – even if they’re not in Silicon Valley or on the East Coast? Investor and tech pioneer Steve Case does, too.
That’s why he’s bringing the Rise of the Rest startup tour to two Silicon 66 cities: Albuquerque and Phoenix.
Case comes to town ready to invest $500,000 in regional startups as part of the fifth Rise of the Rest road trip, which hits Omaha/Lincoln on Oct. 3, Denver on Oct. 4, Salt Lake City on Oct. 5, Albuquerque on Oct. 6 and Phoenix on Oct. 7.
“The rest is rising,” says Case, co-founder of AOL and chairman and CEO of the investment firm Revolution in a press release issued today – meaning he thinks we’re on the brink of a new era for entrepreneurship in America.
What’s got him fired up about hitting the road to find rising entrepreneurs? It’s the belief that “high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities,” as his website states.
One winner from the pitch competition in each city will take home a $100,000 investment from Case. Entrepreneurs from Albuquerque and Phoenix can submit applications online from July 28 to Sept. 7.
Rise of the Rest is part of Case’s quest to find the best entrepreneurs in America – and to find the communities that are best at cultivating them. Taken together, these rising entrepreneurial communities “will help enable the U.S. to remain the most entrepreneurial nation in the world,” he says in a press release.
That’s just what Albuquerque wanted to hear: Economic Development Director Gary Oppedahl has said that his long-term vision is to make Albuquerque the most entrepreneurial in the region.
And at Silicon66, we believe that the entire region is poised for significant growth. As a result, we’ll be launching this blog in earnest in September 2016 to cover the growing entrepreneurial communities located in the Silicon 66 region: Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, New Mexico and Arizona. (Our primary coverage cities include Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Lubbock, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces/El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix and Tempe.)
In each city on the Rise of the Rest tour, organizers will host a pitch competition and fireside chats that will bring together local entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and local government and business leaders to showcase their startup communities under a national spotlight.
More than 80 cities competed to be on the Rise of the Rest tour. The five Western regions selected were chosen because they “are leading the charge in a new era of technological revitalization,” according to a press release from Revolution LLC.
In each city, expect Case and the Rise of the Rest team to:
- Meet with local startups, accelerators and incubators;
- Talk up the local entrepreneurial ecosystem at public events showcasing local entrepreneurs, elected officials, civic and business leaders;
- Host a pitch competition featuring top-caliber judges, who will choose one startup to receive a $100,000 investment;
- Rock out at an after party and networking event featuring local leaders in the startup community.
Previous Rise of the Rest tours have included Richmond, Buffalo, Detroit, Atlanta and Albany.
You can find out all the details about the Rise of the Rest bus tour – or get your startup application in at RiseofRest.com. On Twitter and Instagram, look for #RiseofRest.