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10 Minnesota Startups To Pitch Steve Case At Rise Of The Rest

Rise of the Rest Tour with Steve Case

The Rise of the Rest Tour rolled into Minneapolis this morning. Steve Case, Co Founder of AOL and startup investor, is in town for a series of events today similar to ones held in other cities to promote entrepreneurism and show case what is going on outside of Silicon Valley.

There was a breakfast this morning at CoCo and then a tour of some startups. And this afternoon a series of events:

Fireside Chat

Conversations with Steve Case, CEO of Revolution, Co-Founder, AOL; and Steve Clemons, Editor at Large, The Atlantic.
Presented by The Atlantic

Rise of the Rest Pitch Competition

10 Startups will have the opportunity to pitch to Steve Case and a panel of judges for a $100,000 investment.

Rise Minneapolis: Startup Celebration


A happy hour celebrating the Rise of the Rest in Minneapolis
Presented by Google for Entrepreneurs

Here are the startups pitching today and I will be cheering on my friends at Apruve, Fresh Vine and Zipnosis:



Here is an interview with Steve Case (hat tip Kathy Grayson at the MSP Business Journal):

Steve Case is bullish on Minneapolis

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed to talk a bit about recruiting, hiring, the local startup scene and my view of the Midwest:


"Paul, you want to talk about the MN tech scene?" Yes, yes I do. #RecruiterLife

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And there is this video that was release yesterday to promote this part of the tour:



I have long had very strong opinions about entrepreneurism, startup and tech life outside of Silicon Valley. That Steve Case is shining a light on the middle of the country… lets just say I am a BIG fan of this.

I will have a wrap up tomorrow on today’s events with some commentary.

Here is a press release for this leg of the tour:

Finalists Announced for Rise of the Rest Pitch Competitions in Five Midwest Cities

September 30, 2014

Finalists Announced for Rise of the Rest Pitch Competitions in Five Midwest Cities

Winning startups will earn a $100,000 investment from Steve Case; trip to 2015 SXSW® Startup Village

Washington, D.C. – September 30, 2014 – Today, Revolution, UP Global and Google for Entrepreneurs, the presenting partners of the Rise of the Rest Road Tour, announced the finalists for pitch competitions happening in five Midwest cities: Madison, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Kansas City and St. Louis. One winner in each city will receive a $100,000 personal investment from Steve Case and a trip to the 2015 SXSW®Startup Village in Austin, TX for a special “Rise of the Rest” pitch competition, where they will vie for additional funding.

The Rise of the Rest Road Tour is an effort spearheaded by Case to catalyze entrepreneurship in more places and celebrate its progress by recognizing the critical role that startups play in growing our economy, driving innovation, and fostering community development. The tour launches in Madison on October 6th, and the bus will travel to Minneapolis on October 7th, Des Moines on October 8th, Kansas City on October 9thand conclude in St. Louis on October 10th.

The pitch competition finalists represent a diverse range of companies from multiple sectors including tech, health care, agriculture technology and education. The finalists will pitch Case, along with guest judges that include Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman, Build-a-Bear co-founder Maxine Clark, Square co-founder Jim McKelvey and Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman.

“The Fortune 500 companies of tomorrow are the startups of today,” said Steve Case. “Many of them are being born in traditional tech hotbeds like Silicon Valley, but many are also growing in the rest of America. I am thrilled to lead this effort and to visit these five great cities. Moreover, I am eager to meet and learn from the startups powering this movement we call the Rise of the Rest.”

The finalists in each city include:

  • Madison: Beekeeper Data, CODAWorx, Fishidy, MobCraft, Murfie, Project Foundry, SnowShoeStamp, Stemina Biomarker and WholeTrees.
  • Minneapolis:  75F, Apruve, GreenBook Network, Grumbl, Fresh Vine, Not on My Nickel, Retrace Health, PreciouStatus, Rowbot Systems and Zipnosis.
  • Des Moines: Bawte, Igor, Jobsite Unite, Men’s Style Lab, Offspring, Pear Deck, Punctil, Re-App and VenueFox.
  • Kansas City:  Briefcase, DayReel, FitBark, Keyzio,, PayIt, ShotTracker, Sink Cycle, VeriQuik and Venture360.
  • St. Louis: BetaVersity, Better Weekdays, Dabble, Eateria, Material Mix, MeterGenius, myEDmatch, Need/Want, SYNEK and Tunespeak.

The Rise of the Rest Road Trip will also include a tour of each city’s startup ecosystem, simulcast fireside chats hosted by The Atlantic’s Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, and meetings with city and regional leaders. Partners joining the tour include UP Global, Google for Entrepreneurs, Engine, Salesforce, Startup Grind,Seed Here Studio and SXSW®Startup Village. More information is available at and by following #riseofrest on Twitter and Instagram.

For further details on each day’s itinerary, interview requests for Steve Case or others participating in the tour, and to join for any or all of the stops on the bus tour, please contact Jade Floyd or (202) 467-2047. 

About Revolution

A Washington, DC-based investment firm founded by Steve Case in 2005, Revolution’s mission is to build disruptive, innovative companies that offer consumers more choice,convenience, and control in their lives. Revolution seeks to create significant value for companies that are attacking large, traditional industries with innovative new products and services. The Revolution team brings proven expertise in scaling up companies and helping to expand niche ideas into mass appeal. For more information, please or follow us on Twitter @revolution.

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 or follow us on G+ (+GoogleForEntrepreneurs) and Twitter (@GoogleForEntrep).

About The Atlantic

Since its founding in 1857 as a magazine about “the American Idea” that would be of “no party or clique,”The Atlantic has been at the forefront of brave thinking in journalism. One of the first magazines to launch on the Web in the early 1990s, The Atlantic has continued to help shape the national debate across print, digital, and event platforms. With its news- and opinion-tracking site,, and CityLab.comon global cities, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is the flagship property of Washington, D.C.–based publisher Atlantic Media.

About UP Global

UP Global, the umbrella organization for Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest, and Startup Education currently fosters entrepreneurship in 600 cities across the world, serving over 150,000 innovators. By 2016, the organization will support 1,000 communities through partnerships with local grassroots leaders and partnerships with organizations including Google for Entrepreneurs, the Case Foundation and Kauffman Foundation among others. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter@UPGlobalHQ.

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