In late June of 2014, Steve Case, the Revolution team, and partners wrapped up the first Rise of the Rest bus tour after visiting Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Nashville. Three thousand miles, $1.5 million of investments in startups across 14 cities, meetings with hundreds of entrepreneurs, participation from numerous public officials including Governors Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Nikki Haley in South Carolina, U.S.
My first job as a teenager was at a dress manufacturing company in a fabric mill in Lowell, Massachusetts. At the urging of my father, I worked in this factory all summer performing tasks like sweeping floors, cleaning bathrooms, and bagging dresses for delivery. I owe my father for encouraging me to take that summer job. It left me with a deep respect for American craftsmanship after witnessing the skills and talents of the people working in this mill.
I love the Raleigh-Durham ecosystem. There are a number of characteristics this area has that make it a fantastic place for entrepreneurs, but it’s the tightness of the community that excites me the most – everyone is invested in everyone else’s success. When you combine this with strong academic institutions, an active angel and early-stage investor community, and a high quality of life (with a relatively low cost of living), it’s a powerful combination that I believe will be a recipe for success for years to come.
Pictured: The Rise of the Rest bus making a stop in downtown Atlanta
There are always conversations, stories, speculations, and predictions about the next “it” company that will revolutionize their industry and disrupt the disruptors. Today, I am thrilled to announce that the Revolution Growth portfolio company, Optoro, was named to the 2015 CNBC Disruptor 50 List because they identified an unexploited niche of the retail industry. They beat out 400 companies from the U.S.
Every other year Washingtonian magazine compiles it’s Tech Titan list – naming 100 of the most influential and exciting people in Washington’s growing technology scene – from upstart entrepreneurs, to industry stalwarts, government, media, influencers and of course, investors. This year we are proud to share that Revolution and our portfolio companies had a huge showing on the list. Making the list in 2015 from the Revolution family:
In just one week, we’ll kick off the third installment of the Rise of the Rest Tour, which will traverse through the Southern U.S. from May 4th-8th. Hot off the presses, we’re excited to briefly introduce the 40 startups who will line up to pitch Steve Case for a chance to win a $100,000 investment. Which promising young startup will rise to the top in Richmond, Raleigh-Durham, Charleston, Atlanta, and New Orleans? Follow our live Road Trip Journal on riseofrest.tumblr.com to find out.
Willie Nelson wrote that he loved making music with his friends and couldn’t wait to “get on the road again.”
At Revolution we love working with entrepreneurs and helping them to start and scale new businesses, which is why we are looking forward to firing up the Rise of the Rest bus again and hitting the road in early May.
In the United States, there has been an ongoing discussion and debate about the future of higher-education including its affordability, access, relevance to the modern workforce, diversity, competitiveness in the context of the global community, and the role technology should play. In order for the U.S. to continue to be an educational leader in the global world, we must find innovative solutions to address these issues. In particular, the rising cost of attending a college or university, which is preventing an increasing portion of our younger population from attending and graduating.
Today’s on-demand world requires even the most traditional industries to integrate technology. This morning, Revolution Growth, Insight Ventures, and Monkfish Equity announced a $33 million investment in one of the last industries to be disrupted by innovation – the $25 billion self-storage industry.