Typically the White House’s East Room is reserved for presidential addresses or official state ceremonies. But today it will be bustling with entrepreneurs from all across the U.S. showcasing their startups to the President, senior officials, investors, and many others.
I’m delighted to attend the first ever White House Demo Day, and gratified to see the country recognizing the role entrepreneurs have played – and will continue to pay – in helping to build America and ensuring it has a bright future. And it is great to see the President lead an effort to level the playing field, so any entrepreneur, anywhere, can have a shot at being part of the American dream.
Speaking of any entrepreneur, anywhere: among the talented founders honored at the White House and chosen to exhibit their startups today are previous Rise of the Rest winners Jewel Burks and Jason Crain of Partpic – based in Atlanta, and Mindy Taylor and Sam Staley of Bidr – based in Charleston.
Our team is using the occasion to commit to visiting 10 more Rise of the Rest cities and investing an additional $1 million in startups, beginning in:
- Baltimore, MD on September 28th
- Philadelphia, PA on September 29th
- Buffalo, NY on September 30th
- Manchester, NH on October 1st
- Portland, ME on October 2nd
During day-long visits to these “rising” startup cities, we’ll meet with local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profits, universities, and public officials to discuss the opportunities and challenges of fostering startup growth.
At a pitch competition open to the public in each city, a local startup will receive a $100,000 investment. And we’ll cap things off with a happy hour celebration.
In 2016, the Rise of the Rest tour will visit five more cities in the western part of the U.S.
At Revolution, we’ve seen firsthand how technological advances, public policy changes, and the growing awareness about the critical importance of entrepreneurship have lowered barriers to entry for startups. In June, the Revolution Growth fund made its largest investment to date in Shinola, based in Detroit. A Revolution Ventures portfolio company based in Baltimore, OrderUp, was recently purchased by Groupon – a huge win for the Baltimore startup ecosystem.
As we hit the road in late September and early October I look forward to discussing how Baltimore is much more than just a port city, but an emerging, Mid-Atlantic startup hub with innovative minds especially in defense, research, health, and technology.
How Philadelphia – which launched the most successful startup in history (the United States) – continues to develop its talented base of 101 colleges and universities to encourage a diverse group of millennials, an engaged local and state government, as well as its established corporations, to take part in the startup economy.
How Buffalo and Western New York – once one of the country’s great manufacturing centers – continues to come back through the concentration of biomedical expertise, advanced production industries, tourism, and strong backing from government including through the Buffalo Billion Initiative.
How Manchester and Hanover – once home to the largest millyards in the world – continue to transform New Hampshire into the “Live Free and Start” state, leveraging the international talent stream of Dartmouth College and other schools to craft technologies built around software and life sciences, and create an emerging innovation hub between Boston and Montreal.
And how Portland’s continued effort to build upon one of the country’s most authentic buy-local movements, a highly educated population, and a strong tourism base is creating a startup ecosystem rich with doers, innovators, and new businesses in the northeast.
After logging 3,000 miles and investing $1.5 million in startups during previous tours, we are excited to fire up the bus again and head north. Joining Revolution on the next tour as partners, in addition to Google for Entrepreneurs and Salesforce for Startups, are Engine, Seed Here Studio, Tech Cocktail, Startup Grind, and Village Capital.
Interested in applying to pitch and or attend the celebrations in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Manchester, or Portland during the upcoming tour? Visit www.riseofrest.com to register.