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Steve Case explains why he’s betting on the Midwest



steve case
Ventures CEO Steve Case.

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  • At Business Insider’s Ignition conference, AOL founder Steve Case explained why he’s
    bullish on the Midwest.
  • Case recently launched a $150 million “Rise of the
    Rest” fund to spur innovation in cities beyond tech hubs like
    Silicon Valley and New York.
  • Case compared his bets on Midwestern companies to his
    belief in the internet in the early ’80s.

AOL founder Steve Case is making bold bets on companies from the

In a conversation with Business Insider reporter Richard Feloni
at Business Insider’s Ignition
in New York on Monday, Case explained why he’s so
bullish on funding startups outside of Silicon Valley, and
compared it to the prescient bet he made on the internet in the
early ’80s. 

“When I believed in the idea of the internet — even though for a
decade it was a struggle and we almost didn’t make it, I [still]
believed in the idea of the internet — I similarly believe in the
idea of the ‘rise of the rest,'” said Case.

Read more:

Billionaire investor Steve Case says the failure of the 2000 AOL
Time Warner mega merger taught him a crucial lesson about

Case is the founder of venture capital firm Revolution Ventures,
which recently launched a $150 million fund centered on spurring
innovation in cities beyond tech hubs like Silicon Valley and New

While Case said he doesn’t think those major tech hubs are going
anywhere, he predicts there will be new cities that will be
“surprising us.” 

“I can’t predict exactly how long it will take; I can’t
predict exactly which cities will rise faster; I
can’t predict which entrepreneurs will have the breakout
successes — the iconic, multi-billion dollar companies of the
future,” Case said. 

“But I’m pretty confident over the next decade, people will be
surprised that while San Francisco, New York, and Boston will
continue to be strong, there will be many other cities, including
maybe where you grew up … including maybe where you went to
school, that will be rising up and surprising us.”

You can watch the full conversation here: 

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