Entrepreneurship | episode 723

Rise of the Rest: AOL Co-Founder Steve Case on Expanding VC Beyond the Coasts

Steve Case is the co-founder of AOL, an internet company that he launched in 1985 which would become a foundational organization of the internet age, the first internet company to go public, and one of the best-performing stocks of the 1990s. At its peak, nearly half of internet users in the US use AOL. In 2000, Steve negotiated the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner, and a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. For the past 15 years, Steve has led Revolution, the Washington DC-based investment firm that now backs entrepreneurs at every stage of their development. Revolution Growth is invested in nearly a billion dollars in growth stage companies, including organizations like Sweetgreen, Tempus, Tala, DraftKings and CLEAR. Steve is particularly passionate about funding companies outside of the traditional VC epicenters of California, Massachusetts and New York, and he has a fund and a book, both called The Rise of the Rest. The book came out in September 2022. December 12, 2022

723: Steve discusses his latest book, Rise of the Rest and his mission of growing venture capital outside of the three big epicenters of CA, MA, and NY. He explains the thesis of the book, why 75% of VC focuses on these metropolitan areas, and what inspired him to explore this phenomenon. Steve also gives his perspective on how communities can stimulate venture capital expansion into new areas, how the Rise of the Rest Bus Tours help spur greater visibility on entrepreneurship in these areas, and the venture capital firms he partners with to realize this. He then shares specific anecdotes from his book and the stories from cities that stood out to him during his tours. Across these stories, Steve breaks down the ingredients of a successful venture that he has seen, how the pandemic has changed this, and the role government plays in growing venture capital in their cities. Finally, he talks about growing opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs, economic headwinds that entrepreneurs are beginning to face, and how the tech community has grown in the D.C. Metro area.

Also available on YouTube:

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This episode is sponsored by Adyen.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

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