J.D. Vance Commits $500,000 to the Two Winning Startups and Challenges the Nine Other Companies to Raise $1M
WASHINGTON, D.C. & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Today, at Google Demo Day, J.D. Vance, Managing Partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund (“ROTR Fund”), committed to investing $250,000 in the two companies that received this year’s Judge’s Favorite Award: Increase and ShearShare. In addition, Vance committed $150,000 from the ROTR Fund to each of the other nine participating startups, provided that the startups each raise $1M in the next six months. Startups that complete the challenge will join the more than 50 companies already in the ROTR Fund portfolio. The challenge reflects the mission of the Fund to further catalyze investment and support for companies located in rising regions.
The two Judge’s Favorite Awards went to Increase, a fintech company based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that empowers businesses and simplifies how they control their income; and ShearShare, a McKinney, TX-based B2B marketplace that lets stylists rent space to work by the day in cities all over the world.
The 11 startups that participated in this year’s Google Demo Day hail from cities across North and South America, including several Rise of the Rest ecosystems such as Detroit, Durham, and Minneapolis.
Vance was joined on the judging panel this year by Di-Ann Eisnor, Director of Growth at Waze, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (also known as Lupe Fiasco), Rapper, Producer, and Entrepreneur, and Monique Woodard, Venture Capitalist and Founder of Black Founders.
“I’m honored to have been asked to judge this year’s Google Demo Day and was thoroughly impressed by the pitches from all 11 companies,” said Vance. “A supportive startup ecosystem is critical in driving the success of local companies. I’m confident that the communities of the startups we saw pitch today will rally in support of their growth to help complete the challenge.”
Today’s announcement follows commitments that Steve Case, Chairman and CEO at Revolution and lead partner on the ROTR Fund, made at previous Google Demo Days. In 2014, he surprised the ten participating entrepreneurs with a $100,000 investment in each of their companies, and in 2015, he announced $100,000 surprise investments in the four female-founded companies participating that year. For the last two years, Case has committed $100,000 to every participating startup that raised $1 million within 100 days.
A Washington, D.C.-based investment firm founded in 2005, Revolution’s mission is to help build disruptive, innovative companies that offer consumers more choice, convenience, and control in their lives. The new ROTR Fund complements the existing Revolution Growth and Revolution Ventures funds. Revolution’s funds now exceed $1.3 billion and are positioned to back startups at nearly every stage of their lifecycle. For more information, please visit: www.revolution.com or follow us on Twitter @Revolution.
About Rise of the Rest
Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort powered by Revolution to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution team have logged more than 8,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 33 cities. In 2017, Case and JD Vance announced a $150 million ROTR Fund, backed by a group of iconic entrepreneurs, executives and investors that believe the next great startup investments are located outside of coastal cities. The ROTR Fund invests catalytic capital, often alongside regional investors, to the most promising early stage investments in Rise of the Rest cities. Through our bus tours and summits, we look to create a more connected community of entrepreneurs and investors in cities outside of Silicon Valley. For more information, please visit: www.revolution.com/rotr or follow us on Twitter @RiseOfRest.
About Google for Entrepreneurs
Google for Entrepreneurs provides financial support and the best of Google’s resources to dozens of coworking spaces and community programs across 125 countries. We also create Campuses: physical hubs where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and build companies that will change the world. To learn more about Google for Entrepreneurs, visit googleforentrepreneurs.com