Self Help

The Rise of the Rest How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream - Steve Case

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Matheus Puppe

· 33 min read



  • The preface discusses the author’s reflections on America’s 250th anniversary coming up in 2026 and their work investing in entrepreneurs across the country through their company Revolution.

  • The author feels entrepreneurship and innovation have been key to America’s success but worries some see America’s best days as behind it. They want to spread entrepreneurial opportunities nationwide.

  • The author was born in Hawaii in 1958, the year it became a state. They grew up seeing Hawaii’s challenges transitioning its economy from agriculture to tourism. This made them eager to seek opportunities elsewhere and play a role in creating the future.

  • This inspired them to cofound America Online in 1985 to get all of America online when it was still a nascent technology used by only a small percentage. They faced challenges being pioneers in the early internet age.

So in summary, the preface and first chapter discuss the author’s background in Hawaii and their motivation to spread entrepreneurship nationwide as a way to ensure America’s continued success and leadership in the future.

  • The passage describes the founder’s experiences starting America Online and convincing people of the potential of the internet when it was still in its early days and seen as risky.

  • This experience inspired him to later launch Rise of the Rest, a program to promote entrepreneurship in regions outside major tech hubs through things like bus tours connecting founders to resources.

  • The bus tours are described as bringing energy and attention to startup ecosystems in cities across the country. They aim to prove doubters wrong that jobs and opportunity can only exist in certain places.

  • The founder has seen startup growth in many cities visited and hopes to continue leveling the playing field of access to resources and opportunity for founders nationwide. The goal is to back entrepreneurs everywhere and show new job creation can happen in all communities.

  • The book aims to explain why the author is an optimist about America’s future potential, despite current challenges, by highlighting stories of entrepreneurs, innovators and startups across the country.

  • The first Rise of the Rest bus tour stopped in Detroit in 2014 to showcase its revival efforts led by entrepreneurs and startup founders helping transform the city.

  • Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, played a pivotal role by moving the company downtown and investing in over 100 vacant buildings, helping attract more startups and talent.

  • The tour visited Shinola, a watch and accessories maker helping create local manufacturing jobs, as an example of a company building on American craftsmanship.

  • At the end of each tour day, there was a startup pitch competition awarding $100,000 to an early-stage company working to spark local opportunity and economic growth.

  • In Detroit, the winning startup was, a review site founded by Harvard grads who relocated the company from Silicon Valley to their hometown of Detroit to be part of its revival.

  • Nathan and his co-founder started Stik in Detroit after leaving Silicon Valley due to concerns about competition and turnover. Detroit offered stability, talent, and less competition.

  • Shortly after winning a startup competition, Nathan learned that social media platforms would stop allowing access to user connection data, which was crucial to Stik’s business model. This threatened to shut the company down.

  • Faced with this challenge, the founders realized they had to pivot their business quickly. Being in Detroit helped because the community rallied around them and wanted to save local jobs, unlike Silicon Valley where the attitude is often to “fail fast.”

  • They launched a new concept called Waymark focused on video marketing tools. This relaunch was difficult - they barely made it through the first year and almost failed multiple times as they worked to gain customers and deliver on their platform.

  • Looking back, Nathan sees surviving the startup struggle as a long haul that requires founders to keep trying until they succeed, despite the high failure rate. His experience highlights the reality of building a startup versus the myth of easy success.

  • Within a year of launching Rise of the Rest, Revolution realized they needed to do more than just pitch competitions to truly support communities and companies outside Silicon Valley.

  • Mayors and entrepreneurs in Rise of the Rest cities consistently expressed a need for more investment capital and connectivity to fuel growth. They appreciated the publicity and connections from the bus tours, but needed serious investment to achieve their goals.

  • In response, Revolution launched the first $150 million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund in 2017 to provide more investment capital to rising cities and help attract other investors. Notable early backers included Dan Gilbert.

  • The fund helps credential and raise visibility for companies as they attract talent, customers, and investors. It aims to build the type of network density that contributed to Silicon Valley’s success.

  • Revolution assembled an impressive group of iconic entrepreneurs, investors and leaders to support Rise of the Rest and make investing in these communities more credible and attractive.

  • Since launching the first fund, followed by a second $150 million fund in 2019, Revolution has invested over $200 companies across more than 100 cities. The goal is to build disruptive companies that solve big problems.

Revolution strives to invest in startups across the country to support entrepreneurship. It can be difficult for entrepreneurs to get funding, so Revolution aims to be the investor that believes in their ideas.

When Revolution goes to different cities, they try to get local investors involved who care about their communities’ futures. Many local investors have been reluctant to fund startups themselves. Revolution explains why investing in startups is good for creating jobs and economic opportunities in the area. Their presence often inspires local investors to take another look at funding local entrepreneurs.

Over the next decade, the article predicts that many of the most successful startup companies, worth billions and creating many jobs, will come not just from Silicon Valley but from cities all across the US. Regional venture capital firms are helping back startups in their local areas. While Silicon Valley will still be important, the sources of startup funding and success are becoming more geographically diverse.

  • For local venture firms like KCRise based in Kansas City, there is a special dynamic when investors are committed to local prosperity and startups winning. Founder Darcy Howe was an angel investor in the area for 25 years and started KCRise to provide early funding.

  • KCRise provided seed funding to BacklotCars, an online used car auction platform based in KC. Being local, KCRise was able to connect BacklotCars to other venture firms to help them raise additional funding and accelerate growth. This eventually led to one of the largest startup acquisitions in KC history.

  • Having local funds like KCRise involved can make a difference for startups by providing an important local validation, engagement and support through challenges. The fund’s local connections also helped the startup connect to other outside investors.

Here are the key points about building a tech ecosystem from the passage:

  • Successful tech startups can help create momentum and attract more talent and investment to a city, as ExactTarget did for Indianapolis by getting acquired for $2.5 billion.

  • Coworking spaces and venture studios that foster collaboration and networking are important for building density and opportunities for startups. Indianapolis has facilities like Developer Town and High Alpha.

  • Support from civic leaders and policymakers can help the ecosystem, like when Rise of the Rest encouraged Indiana officials to support entrepreneurship.

  • Educational programs focused on STEM/tech, like Purdue Polytechnic charter school, help develop local talent and address skills gaps.

  • Successful founders who reinvest in the community by mentoring and funding new startups play a pivotal role, like ExactTarget cofounder Chris Baggott advising Megan Glover on 120Water.

  • Having visible success stories that address important problems can inspire more impact-driven entrepreneurs, as 120Water’s water testing kit did by responding to the Flint water crisis.

So in summary, the key is cultivating density and collaboration through spaces, attracting investment and talent with success stories, engaging civic support, developing tech skills, and empowering local mentors and founders.

  • Megan’s company 120Water has grown significantly since winning a Rise of the Rest award, raising $7M in funding and hiring over 100 people as it expands nationally.

  • She is recruiting alumni of companies like Apple and Twitter who want to return to Indiana for the startup opportunities and affordable living while still having an impact.

  • Successful tech ecosystems involve connections between startups, investors, universities, government support, large companies, startup organizations, and local media. These “spokes” work together to support innovation.

  • Large company acquisitions like ExactTarget and Duo Security have benefited their local ecosystems by staying in Indy and Ann Arbor after acquisitions.

  • Government programs provide funding and incentives to attract entrepreneurs and growing companies. Universities are major sources of innovation through initiatives like Duke’s Innovation District.

  • Local startup founder Lindsay Tjepkema worked with the High Alpha Venture Studio in Indy to launch her B2B video podcast platform Casted, finding support from the local ecosystem.

  • Lindsay left her secure job to start Casted, a startup providing an online platform for professional headshots, video profiles, and other services. This was a risky move with three young kids at home.

  • She felt passionately about the idea and didn’t want someone else to pursue it. Casted’s potential was recognized in 2019 when it raised a Series A funding round.

  • The pandemic caused humanizing services like Casted’s to be in high demand. The company’s revenue and customer base skyrocketed in 2020, allowing them to grow from 10 to 42 employees and transition to a hybrid work model.

  • Lindsay sees connecting people as core to any business. By making the company more human-centric, customers will trust it more. Her goal is to infuse this understanding into Casted’s business model.

  • There was growing interest from successful entrepreneurs who wanted to join the Startup Bus tour to local communities across the country. Many remembered having to leave their hometowns to go to places like Silicon Valley to build companies, but now saw opportunities to do so locally with support from investors on the tour.

  • Bill Ready, the former COO of PayPal (and now president of commerce at Google), joined the tour stop in Louisville, Kentucky where he grew up. He encouraged local aspiring entrepreneurs, saying innovation isn’t limited to places like Silicon Valley and it’s easier than ever to solve problems and start companies locally.

  • One stop was the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, which promotes Ali’s principles of confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality - principles relevant for any entrepreneur. A famous Ali quote about not letting small issues get in the way was also noted.

  • In Madison, Wisconsin, local entrepreneurs like Scott Resnick were working to develop the startup ecosystem through groups like Capital Entrepreneurs and the development of a co-working space called StartingBlock to support startups. Groups like the Chamber of Commerce also got involved to help startups connect with investors. The ecosystem has grown significantly from just a few local founders.

  • Strong collaboration between startups and clustering of people and resources in ecosystems is important for networking, collaborating, and serendipitous connections that can help startups succeed in their early days. Different cities try different approaches to achieving this “network density”.

The passage describes how co-working spaces, or innovation hubs, have served as engines of transformation for often-neglected city centers.

It provides three examples of such hubs that have helped revitalize their communities:

  1. Titletown Tech in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a collaboration between the Green Bay Packers NFL team, Microsoft, and local entrepreneurs to create a technology and entrepreneurship center.

  2. An innovation district in Phoenix, Arizona, spearheaded by Arizona State University president Michael Crow and Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton to revive a formerly abandoned warehouse district.

  3. Over-the-Rhine’s Union Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, which helped revitalize a once-dangerous neighborhood through the dedication of civic and business leaders to bring stakeholders together through a redevelopment project.

In all cases, these co-working spaces functioned as gathering places for entrepreneurs, providing a density of networks and resources that helped foster startups and economic development in their cities.

  • Chattanooga, TN is emerging as a notable startup hub despite its small size, in large part due to its smart grid and fiber infrastructure that provides ultra-fast internet access across the city. This earned it the nickname “Gig City”.

  • Former mayor Andy Berke helped spur momentum through initiatives like creating an Innovation District and supporting developments like the Tomorrow Building coworking space.

  • Craig Fuller coined the term “Freight Alley” to describe Chattanooga’s focus on logistics and freight startups, building on existing industry strengths in the city. His family has deep roots in the trucking industry.

  • Fuller launched FreightWaves, a freight logistics startup, in Chattanooga to take advantage of the local talent pool and tap into the respected logistics industry.

  • The high-speed internet and focus on industries like logistics have made Chattanooga an attractive location for tech companies and startups compared to larger, more expensive cities. Initiatives like the Innovation District and Tomorrow Building also help attract and retain talent.

Carter Malloy grew up on a farm in Stuttgart, Arkansas and developed a love for the farming community. He later worked for a hedge fund in San Francisco investing in farmland. However, he found the market to be highly fragmented, with a lack of transparency, liquidity and access.

This inspired Carter to start his own farmland investment fund to help modernize and improve the system. He spent a year researching and creating a business plan with help from his father and friends. His goal was to launch a fund that brought more capital and technological innovation to the multi-trillion dollar farmland asset class, which had largely been neglected compared to other real estate markets. After leaving his job, Carter launched Farmland Partners in 2013 to pursue his vision of revitalizing investment in American agriculture.

  • Carter planned to move his startup company AcreTrader from San Francisco to Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2018 to be close to farmland and leverage the workforce in the area, including companies like Walmart and Tyson.

  • Starting the company was a struggle, as it was difficult to raise funding and build trust with farmers to use the platform. However, Carter’s local roots in Arkansas helped build credibility.

  • By moving to Arkansas, AcreTrader was eventually able to raise over $50 million, becoming one of the best capitalized startups in the state. This has helped change perceptions about startup opportunities in Arkansas.

  • Carter believes his success in attracting talent from other cities to work for AcreTrader in Arkansas shows the potential of the area. While farming will always be challenging, the company brings investment to rural communities.

  • Manuel Medina is a successful Cuban immigrant entrepreneur and investor in Miami who founded eMerge to help build up the tech ecosystem.

  • eMerge hosts an annual tech conference that brings together thousands of attendees, companies, and investors. It has helped connect startups to funding and partnerships.

  • Manuel’s daughter Melissa now leads eMerge. She credits her immigrant parents for instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in her from a young age.

  • Events like eMerge have helped Miami attract venture capital, startups, and intellectual talent to the area. Leaders see potential for Miami to become a major international tech hub.

  • The story of Lil Roberts, a female founder who won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition in Miami, illustrates the inclusive and diverse spirit of the local startup community in providing opportunities for all.

  • The passage describes the entrepreneurial journey of Cameron Johnson, founder of Nickson, a furniture rental startup for renters.

  • While working in real estate, Cameron noticed renters wanted to rent furnished model apartments and were frustrated by the hassle of moving. This inspired him to create Nickson.

  • Nickson offers a comprehensive furniture package that renters can add to their new space like cable. They handle delivery, setup, and removal to simplify the moving process.

  • Cameron tested his concept by furnishing a distressed rental unit in Philadelphia. It quickly rented for $500 more per month, validating his idea.

  • He launched Nickson in Dallas with support from the Entrepreneurship Center. He pitched at Rise of the Rest and won $100k in funding, validating his concept further.

  • Since then, Nickson has grown rapidly, solving the hassles of moving for renters by providing fully furnished temporary housing through a subscription model.

  • Cariloop is a startup based in Dallas that provides technology-enabled caregiver support services. It was founded by childhood friends Michael Walsh and Steven Theesfeld.

  • They originally considered several locations but were drawn to Dallas after attending a conference there and finding the culture of support for entrepreneurs to be very welcoming.

  • The company has pivoted its business model over time based on market feedback. It now focuses on pairing caregivers with licensed Care Coaches who provide long-term support.

  • Starting a company was a struggle financially for many years, with the founders living on very low incomes. But Cariloop gained traction and raised a $15M Series B in 2021 to expand.

  • The passage also discusses Atlanta’s growing startup ecosystem, noting it previously focused more on large corporations but is now seeing more support from those companies, universities, and the city to foster entrepreneurship through initiatives like venture funds and accelerators.

  • Mailchimp, an Atlanta-based marketing platform, struggled to raise venture capital when it started in 2001 as few investors backed Atlanta startups. However, it proved very successful, being acquired in 2021 for $12 billion.

  • Rodney Sampson is the founder of Opportunity Hub, a platform for Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta. He had early success with his own startup, which he later sold for $20 million.

  • Sampson recognized barriers Black founders faced and launched Opportunity Hub in 2013 to provide coworking space, services, and support to entrepreneurs from underserved communities. It has reduced barriers and hosted over 300 events annually.

  • Sean Henry started his logistics automation startup Stord at age 18 out of difficulties fulfilling orders for his own e-commerce businesses. Despite skepticism, he kept Stord headquartered in Atlanta where it has thrived with support from Georgia Tech and local leaders. Stord is now a billion dollar company after a $90 million funding round.

  • Denver has emerged as a top startup destination, ranking in the top five cities and four nationally. Local and state leaders like former governor Hickenlooper strongly support entrepreneurs and over 5,000 companies have started or relocated in Denver in five years. It attracts skilled workers and has desirable lifestyle and business environment.

Here are the key points about repreneurs:

  • Repreneurs are entrepreneurs who start businesses in their local communities or struggling regions, helping to revive economic opportunities there.

  • Many repreneurs are motivated by a sense of loyalty to their home communities and a desire to see them thrive. They want to demonstrate that areas are not forgotten or left behind.

  • Examples discussed include Erik Mitisek in Denver, who has built up the local startup ecosystem, and John McElligott in York, Pennsylvania, who launched robotics startups and initiatives to put York at the cutting edge and replace lost manufacturing jobs.

  • Regions like central Pennsylvania are trying to cluster small cities like Harrisburg, Lancaster and York through entrepreneurial collaborations, taking inspiration from the “York Plan” model during WWII where local industries pooled resources for military contracts.

  • Repreneurs help revitalize regions by bringing in new industries like healthcare tech, robotics, and creating innovation districts and resources like coding bootcamps to spur economic development. Their local engagement and success can attract more capital and opportunities to struggling areas.

  • The York Innovation District is a redevelopment project in York, PA that includes a 10-story robotic manufacturing and research building, as well as residential, retail, and parking space.

  • The goal is to create an innovation hub for robotics companies in York, which already has some foundations like an incubator and media support.

  • Other entrepreneurs have found success from central PA as well, like the billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments Jared Isaacman who is based in Allentown.

  • York aims to replicate the successful transition of Pittsburgh from a steel town to a tech hub. Factors like Carnegie Mellon University contributed to Pittsburgh attracting significant venture capital and tech companies to the city.

  • The York Innovation District project aims to spur revival in central Pennsylvania by focusing on robotics and creating an environment where startups can thrive, taking inspiration from Pittsburgh’s comeback model.

  • Omaha and Nebraska were once driven by legacy industries but have faced economic challenges as those sectors declined or moved away.

  • Figures like Warren Buffett and Jeff Raikes believe the region can build a new technological future, citing the entrepreneurial spirit evident in stories like Nebraska Furniture Mart.

  • Raikes has supported the startup ecosystem through his foundation and the University of Nebraska. The university is growing tech programs and facilities like the Innovation Campus.

  • Places like Omaha lacked early-stage capital for startups, but groups like Nebraska Angels have helped fill that gap by investing over $120 million in 60+ companies.

  • A startup like Hudl received large later-stage funding, showing local success is possible.

  • The Rise of the Rest tour aimed to connect startups between Lincoln and Omaha, just an hour apart, and found a welcoming community open to collaborating.

  • The winner of the Nebraska pitch competition was LifeLoop, an app helping families connect with elders in care facilities. It showed homegrown startups tackling local issues.

  • Amy saw an opportunity to create a better solution for communicating with elderly family members in memory care facilities after her husband’s grandmother struggled with lack of communication from the facility.

  • She co-founded LifeLoop, an app that allows families to track residents’ needs/activities, share photos/videos, and communicate more easily with staff and each other.

  • The initial product was built with help from a local software company. Growth was slow at first but relationships and word-of-mouth helped gain traction.

  • Winning a startup competition boosted confidence and connections. The company grew rapidly, serving over 700 facilities in 40 states by providing a critical communication tool during the pandemic lockdowns.

  • Amy merged LifeLoop with another senior living tech company and now serves as Chief Strategy Officer, helping more families stay connected to loved ones through her solution.

The passage describes an unusual breakfast event held at the Utah State Prison prior to its relocation. Leaders from various sectors of the community gathered at the prison’s on-site cafe, run by incarcerated women. Over breakfast, inspiring conversations were had about creating opportunities for entrepreneurship and leveling the playing field for all people, including those with challenging backgrounds. The experience reminded attendees of the importance of their mission.

After breakfast, the group toured innovative local companies, including a food warehouse run by an immigrant entrepreneur who had experienced homelessness. They also visited a kitchen incubator helping immigrants and refugees start food businesses. One chef they met had always dreamed of opening a restaurant and found the community’s support to be remarkable. The event highlighted examples of entrepreneurship overcoming adversity and the supportive ecosystem in Salt Lake City.

  • The passage describes the author’s visits to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in Rise of the Rest tours and events focused on supporting local entrepreneurs.

  • Nashville is highlighted as a thriving startup hub with strong support from local leaders like Governor Bill Haslam and Michael Burcham of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Several startup hubs and communities in Nashville are mentioned.

  • The city is also known for its deep history and culture in country music. However, it has evolved beyond just being “Music City” and is now attracting tech startups as well which are helping drive economic energy.

  • One example startup profiled is Artiphon, founded by Mike Butera to create a new type of musical instrument accessible to all.

  • Subsequent updates note Tennessee’s continued growth, with stats on startup funding and a visit to Memphis focusing on the music industry and a winning startup in that space.

  • The passage concludes by briefly summarizing an example in Tampa Bay of investor Jeff Vinik transforming the downtown area through a large development aimed at attracting entrepreneurs and talent.

  • Jeff Vinik is a real estate developer in Tampa, Florida known for his visionary projects like Water Street Tampa, a large mixed-use development focused on health, wellness and innovation.

  • Water Street Tampa will include residences, hotels, a medical school, entertainment venues, retail, and office space. It aims to promote an integrated live-work-play lifestyle.

  • A unique aspect is its focus on wellness, being the first community certified by the WELL Building Standard which promotes health across all aspects of community life.

  • The project also features the Embarc Collective, an innovation hub and startup incubator fully supported by advisors and experts.

  • Vinik is bullish on Tampa’s growth and potential, predicting a 25% population increase in the next decade and the corresponding growth in demand for businesses, arts, culture and real estate.

  • Vinik drew analogies between entrepreneurship and hockey, emphasizing resilience in the face of challenges and not giving up despite failures or setbacks.

  • Tampa and the surrounding area are seen as rising tech hubs, with companies like ARK and Dynasty relocating headquarters from New York in recent years.

  • Mark argues that tech innovation needs to be more inclusive and happen in places beyond just San Francisco, New York, and Boston to truly thrive nationally. If most people feel innovation is happening elsewhere, they may lose support for it.

  • While those cities earned their status as tech hubs, the rise of other cities doesn’t mean they will fall. It means more places can develop their own strengths and carve out unique roles in innovation.

  • Some emerging tech hubs formed unexpectedly around where companies started, like Seattle with Microsoft and Austin with Dell. SXSW helped put Austin on the map as a startup city.

  • New hubs are also forming around existing regional industries like healthcare in Minnesota and Baltimore.

  • The pandemic accelerated trends of talent and capital dispersing to more cities. Remote work enables people to pursue tech ideas in their hometowns. This is validating the idea that innovation can happen in many places across the country.

  • Place will still matter as clustering brings benefits, but remote options may lead people to choose different cities to live in while still connecting locally. The pandemic is accelerating opportunities for startups beyond the major coastal tech hubs.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of several technologies and trends, like telehealth, e-commerce, online education, and remote work. Many expect these changes to remain permanently even after the pandemic ends.

  • Schooling shifted to remote learning during lockdowns, fueling the growth of edtech startups. Companies like Pear Deck and Class Technologies saw huge growth to address this need.

  • Institutions like the Smithsonian increased their digital offerings to still engage with the public when physical locations were closed.

  • Entrepreneurship rose during the pandemic, with more business applications filed in 2021 as Gen Z explored starting their own companies.

  • While the US once led the world in innovation through government investments, that leadership has declined as other nations increase R&D spending. Government plays a crucial but complex role in innovation.

  • Policymakers are now paying more attention to high-growth startups, recognizing their potential economic impact, though supporting regional hubs remains a challenge.

  • Congressmembers like Ro Khanna are working to spread tech jobs and opportunities beyond just major tech hubs through public-private partnerships and place-based policies.

So in summary, the pandemic accelerated several tech trends and startups, while calls grow for greater government support of innovation nationwide through programs that level the playing field across regions.

The entrepreneurial community in Puerto Rico responded quickly to help the island rebuild after devastating hurricanes. Groups like Endeavor Puerto Rico and Parallel18 provided resources for entrepreneurs. Coworking spaces like Piloto 151 also supported innovators.

Celebrity chef José Andrés started the Plow to Plate program through his World Central Kitchen nonprofit to create a sustainable food economy in Puerto Rico. When Rise of the Rest toured Puerto Rico in 2019, they saw the resilience and determination of the local entrepreneurial community to address long-term issues like infrastructure and food security.

Months after the tour, when the COVID pandemic hit, many tech ecosystems pivoted to help their communities. Groups in Puerto Rico and elsewhere demonstrated how entrepreneurial initiatives can aid disaster recovery and crisis response through collaboration.

  • Minneapolis has a growing startup ecosystem supported by leading venture firms like Revolution, Bessemer Ventures, and early-stage funds like Matchstick Ventures.

  • There are nearly 30 startup accelerators in the state like Techstars programs focused on areas like healthcare, food and agriculture, and insurance. Forge North also provides support.

  • Large Minnesota corporations like UnitedHealth, Target, Best Buy have programs to support startups.

  • In 2020, the Coven coworking space quickly adapted to the pandemic by launching the popular “Fix-It-Fridays” virtual event series for entrepreneurs.

  • After George Floyd’s murder, the Coven used its space to collect and distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of emergency goods for those affected by the protests, embodying its mission of community support.

  • The crises of 2020 tested Minneapolis’ resilience but also led to rallying community support efforts.

  • At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Airbnb saw a collapse in bookings as travel came to a halt. CEO Brian Chesky quickly pivoted the company’s focus to longer-term rentals for people working remotely.

  • Chesky set aside $250M to support hosts who had lost bookings. Airbnb went public that year with a successful IPO valuing the company at over $50B.

  • During this time, Chesky realized Airbnb’s model had expanded beyond short-term vacation rentals to accommodating remote work and living.

  • In 2021, Chesky spoke at an event discussing post-pandemic work trends. He predicted more long-term flexible and remote work options as companies compete for talent. This could decentralize tech hubs beyond just Silicon Valley.

  • Remote work accelerated existing trends of venture capital and startups growing outside major cities. Data showed a rise in regional VC firms and non-coastal cities receiving more funding. Many companies plan to retain remote work policies long-term.

  • This “unbundling” of work and location could continue the rise of tech ecosystems across the country as companies recruit talent based more on mission than physical office location.

  • Cities are now competing to attract new residents by offering programs like Tulsa Remote that pay people to relocate. Over 1,300 people took part in Tulsa’s program.

  • In general, people are moving from expensive cities to more affordable ones, and from dense areas to less dense places, putting pressure on expensive cities to improve affordability and livability.

  • Three types of areas are poised to benefit from this “Great Reshuffle”: affordable and dynamic mid-size cities, “Zoom towns” that offer amenities and were previously vacation spots, and suburban areas outside large cities that are now viable for occasional commutes.

  • Livability factors like music scenes, sense of community from projects like trails, and startup ecosystems could help attract talent. The ability to work remotely gives people more options to consider quality of life.

  • Cities and programs offering relocation incentives are effectively competing for new residents and the talent they bring in this new remote working environment. Those that can provide affordability and livability are positioned to attract mobile workers.

  • The pandemic accelerated some trends like more sustainable lifestyles and moving away from expensive coastal cities to other parts of the country. It also led many people to rethink their jobs and locations.

  • With more remote work options, people had more flexibility in where they live and work. This created opportunities for non-coastal “Rise of the Rest” cities to attract talent.

  • however, the existing housing models were not well suited for this new flexibility and remote work. More flexible, short-term housing options were needed.

  • A startup called Qwick helped address labor shortages by providing an on-demand staffing platform for industries like hospitality. They faced challenges during the pandemic but were then well positioned as labor shortages worsened.

  • Immigration is important for America’s innovation and economic growth. High-skilled immigrants start businesses and create jobs. Reports showed immigrants contributed over $1 trillion to local economies and over $400 billion in taxes across major US cities. Comprehensive immigration reform has been slow to pass.

  • The passage discusses the need for greater diversity and inclusion in venture capital and entrepreneurship ecosystems. It notes that currently only around 1% of venture capital goes to Black founders.

  • It describes the “Economic Development Pyramid” proposed by Rodney Sampson and Dell Gines, which outlines the various stages and support needed for entrepreneurs, from early exposure and skills development to wealth and job creation.

  • During the 2020 racial justice movements, the authors Rodney and Adeo recognized an opportunity to leverage their Rise of the Rest platform to explicitly showcase and invest in Black founders.

  • They announced an ambitious virtual events plan called the Rise of the Rest Virtual Tour: Equity Edition, which included a $2 million investment pitch competition for Black founders and commitments to connect winners with prominent investors nationwide. The goal was to help level the playing field for diverse founders and investors.

  • Courtney and Tye Caldwell launched ShearShare in 2017 to address the changing haircare industry. Tye had decades of experience as a barber/cosmetologist and noticed clients were loyal to stylists, not salons.

  • ShearShare allows stylists to rent salon space by the day/week rather than long-term contracts. This provides flexibility for stylists and fills empty salon chairs.

  • The couple bootstrapped ShearShare from their home in McKinney, Texas rather than move to Silicon Valley. They entered Rise of the Rest and won $250k in 2018 for their pitch.

  • ShearShare now operates in 900+ cities nationwide, managing over $90M in salon/barbershop assets. It connects stylists directly with clients while also keeping small businesses open.

  • The Caldwells’ story demonstrates non-traditional founders can succeed with passion and a solution addressing real industry needs, growing their business from middle America.

  • The passage introduces Courtney Caldwell as the co-founder of ShearShare, a service that helps customers find local Black-owned barbershops and salons.

  • Courtney sees her work as a way to empower other women entrepreneurs and help the communities she serves. She notes the lack of Black women who have raised over $1 million in venture capital funding.

  • Courtney says her goal is to encourage other people, especially women, to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by sharing her own story of success in founding ShearShare. She wants to give others the “umph and gumption” to take the leap into entrepreneurship.

  • Her work is motivated by a deep sense of purpose in making the world better, particularly for African Americans. Being a Black married founder is an important part of that mission.

  • Jonathan Webb grew up in Kentucky seeing the negative impacts of coal job losses. He got a degree from University of Kentucky and worked in solar energy in DC.

  • He came up with the idea of large-scale indoor farms after learning about high-tech greenhouses in Europe that yield 30x more produce using little chemicals.

  • Webb founded AppHarvest to build giant greenhouse farms in eastern Kentucky to grow tomatoes and other crops locally and sustainably.

  • His first farm in Morehead, KY is one of the largest in the world. It ships tomatoes to major grocery chains, creating local jobs.

  • Webb is fundraising and expanding to more farms, aiming to diversify crops and bring economic opportunity back to the region.

  • He sees his mission as addressing the connected challenges faced by rural communities and creating a “renaissance” through sustainable agriculture technology. Webb is succeeding in turning the problems of coal country into an opportunity for the future.

  • Cultured Decadence is a startup based in Madison, Wisconsin that produces cultivated lobster meat by growing lobster cells in a lab. This avoids harvesting wild lobster.

  • Founder John Pattison was inspired to explore alternative proteins after trying a plant-based burger while in business school. He realized cell-cultured meat had potential but hadn’t been commercialized yet.

  • John moved to the Bay Area to work for a cultivated meat company where he met co-founder Ian Johnson. They decided to focus on lobster due to threats from climate change like rising ocean temperatures.

  • Producing lobster meat from cultured cells allows for more sustainable and affordable lobster compared to the traditional method of wild harvesting. Cultured Decadence aims to demonstrate that cell-based food startups don’t need to be located near the ocean.

So in summary, Cultured Decadence is pioneering the production of cell-cultured lobster meat as a more climate-friendly and accessible alternative to traditional lobster harvesting.

  • John Fischer and Aaron Jacobson co-founded Cultured Decadence, a company focused on growing lobster meat through cellular agriculture techniques in Wisconsin.

  • They aimed to shift perceptions of how food is produced without compromising the culinary experience. Their vision extended beyond food to materials like fabrics.

  • Cultured meat startups require significant time and funding to develop new technologies. Cultured Decadence was acquired by Upside Foods, the first multi-species cultivated meat company, and its technologies were integrated into Upside’s work. Upside maintains a presence in Wisconsin.

  • The acquisition is a common outcome for early stage startups as they work to advance technologies that can take years to mature. Upside aims to continue Cultured Decadence’s work at a larger scale.

Innovation in America throughout the 20th century was geographically distributed, tied to local advantages. Inventors like George Washington Carver did research in the South, the Wright Brothers launched their first flight in North Carolina, and Henry Ford built his automotive plant outside Detroit. However, women innovators were often overlooked.

The passage argues that innovation is an inherent American quality, but equal access to its benefits has been lacking. Now in the 21st century, there is an opportunity to realize the nation’s full innovative potential through geographic equity and collaborative networks across cities and regions. The Rise of the Rest initiatives aim to show that startup success is no longer confined to just a few coastal cities, but can be found in many towns and cities across the country. Widespread entrepreneurial growth requires participation and support from policymakers, investors, community leaders, universities, and entrepreneurs themselves.

  • The passage describes some of the author’s travels across America in an RV, where he enjoyed local delicacies like a “Viking on a Stick” at the Montana State Fair. He drove along the Oregon Trail and Route 66 through several Western states.

  • These RV trips made Jean and the author feel like they were “coming home” to places they had never been before, which always felt familiar.

  • The author believes that if people can meet each other “where they live” by finding out who they are and sharing who they are, it can overcome obstacles. And giving everyone with a new business idea a way to pursue it, no matter their background, is what will ensure America remains pioneering and entrepreneurial.

  • There is something special about the American spirit of possibility and focus on the future. The author is reminded of this when celebrating Independence Day with people from all backgrounds coming together to watch fireworks displays.

  • In conclusion, the author looks forward to America’s 250th birthday celebration in 2026 and hopes many people will be there to celebrate the continued optimism for the country’s future.

Here is a summary of the key points from the provided text:

  • Charleston, South Carolina has government partnerships and investments to support startups and entrepreneurs.

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee has a geographical opportunity around its freight alley and has implemented a smart grid system.

  • Cincinnati, Ohio sees entrepreneurial activism from small businesses and has undergone revitalization.

  • Columbus, Ohio has the Idea Foundry which supports the regional startup ecosystem. It also has regional venture capital firms.

  • CelluDot is a startup in Louisville, Kentucky located within the city’s growing tech ecosystem.

  • Memphis, Tennessee hosts a pitch competition that supports its startup culture.

  • Nashville, Tennessee has a strong entrepreneurial culture, supported by organizations like the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

  • Omaha, Nebraska benefits from legacy and ongoing investments that support its regional startup ecosystem and middle America innovation, as seen through organizations like the Nebraska Furniture Mart.

  • Miami, Florida hosts pitch competitions that are part of its growing startup ecosystems centered around industries like gaming and animation.

  • Denver, Colorado benefits from its aerospace industry and hosts events like Startup Week that support regional entrepreneurship.

Here is a summary of the key points from the provided text:

  • The text discusses various cities and their startup ecosystems, including Atlanta, Chattanooga, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Madison, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Puerto Rico, Space Coast, SXSW, York, and others.

  • It discusses organizations that support startups like Parallel18, PartPic, PitchBook, Patriot Boot Camp, Paul Quinn College, various pitch competitions.

  • Individuals involved in supporting startups are mentioned like Eduardo Padron, John Pattison, Dale Petroskey, Kevin Plank, Brian Powers, Jeff Raikes, Scott Resnick, Greg Schwartz, Brad Smith, Fred Smith, Trae Stephens, Andy Stoll, Greg Stanton, Matthew Stanton.

  • Startup hubs and clusters in different regions are analyzed like those in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Louisville, Madison, Miami, Pennsylvania, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Tulsa.

  • Broader topics covered include placemaking, racial justice, talent boomerang, technology convergence, government engagement in innovation, and developing a more sustainable nation.

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About Matheus Puppe