Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” Startup Tour to Kick Off in Detroit

5/27/14Follow @XconomyDET

Investor and AOL co-founder Steve Case announced on Thursday he will embark on a bus tour in June to highlight emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems. Called “Rise of the Rest” and co-sponsored by UP Global, Revolution, and Google for Entrepreneurs, the tour kicks off in Detroit on June 24 and continues on to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Nashville.

At each stop, Case will be joined by nationally recognized entrepreneurs and local leaders. Perhaps most exciting to Detroit startups, Case plans to personally invest in each city’s startup community by hosting a pitch competition at each stop, with one winner per city taking home a $100,000 investment.

At the Detroit stop, Case and Quicken Loans chairman Dan Gilbert will participate in a fireside chat at Grand Circus about the local startup ecosystem at 2 pm; the pitch competition will begin at 3:30 pm in the Madison Building, and a happy hour will be held starting at 5 pm on the Madison Building’s roof.

“We’re really focused on supporting startups on a grassroots, city level,” says Marc Nager, CEO of UP Global, the umbrella organization for Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest, and Startup Education. “The bus tour is a way to make a splash and celebrate cities that often get overlooked.”

One of the goals of the Rise of the Rest tour stop in Detroit is to plug in with local entrepreneurial leaders to discuss how to sustain the burgeoning startup scene. “Building a startup community doesn’t happen overnight,” Nager says. “It’s a long-term process, and Steve can really inspire people and help align visions. Our goal is to help highlight and amplify the story to make sure the rest of the world knows about it, too.”

Detroit startups that are interested in competing in the pitch contest can click here to apply.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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