On fourth tour, startup CEOs promote “flyover states”
Revolution’s “Rise of the Rest” road trip is finishing off its fourth year in 2017, with former AOL CEO Steve Case spearheading the bus tours as a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. The biannual tours champion the idea that “high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities,” per the Rise of the Rest website, an idea which, as WIRED magazine notes in a recent article, might give the so-called flyover states some renewed appreciation. The 2015 edition featured Spring Point Solutions, an Electrical Apparatus regular, as a finalist for its QM Wizard programming system. Below is an October interview with Case and Clint Betts, CEO of Beehive, on the eve of the trip.
Revolution is a venture capital firm that has helped finance the tours. The 2017 edition added cities like Provo, Utah, and Des Moines, Iowa to the mix. Since 2014, the road trips have covered a total of over 6,000 miles of highway and visited 26 cities. At each stop a pitch competition is hosted, showcasing the best startups in each city. The winner takes home a $100,000 investment.
This year’s tour had a new point of emphasis: addressing the country’s heartland and often-overlooked midsize cities in other regions. The impetus is undeniably political. Case has been quoted as saying: “There’s a reason they feel left behind. They kind of have been left behind. Some of the disruption funded in places like Silicon Valley is destroying jobs in other parts of the country.”