A bus tour highlighting Midwestern startup communities will roll into St. Louis this fall.
The Rise of the Rest Road Tour is spearheaded by AOL’s former CEO Steve Case, and includes several investment firms, including Revolution, which Case founded in 2005.
The tour will feature a startup pitch competition in each city with the winners getting a $100,000 investment from Case. In St. Louis, that competition will take place at T-REX, a downtown co-working space and technology incubator, on Oct. 10.
"It’s a very good opportunity to showcase what we have both in resources for entrepreneurs, as well as our startup community," T-REX co-founder Jay De Long said.
De Long said the competition is also unique in that winners will have to demonstrate that their business is particular to their city.
"So, a pitch that is likely to win in Des Moines has to have some Des Moines DNA in it," he said. "In St. Louis it has to make sense why it comes out of St. Louis and only St. Louis"
The tour will first visit Madison, Wis.; Minneapolis; Des Moines; and Kansas City before arriving in St. Louis. It’s the second Rise of the Rest Road Tour this year. The first tour made stops in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville.
"Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of our economy," Case said in a statement. "Now more than ever, I believe that our nation’s prosperity is contingent on having a robust and diverse startup economy that encompasses all regions of the country."
Each stop includes:
- Visits to promising companies, accelerators and incubators.
- Fireside chats moderated by The Atlantic’s Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, featuring Steve Case and other entrepreneurial leaders.
- Local startup pitch competition with all-star judges and a $100,000 investment at stake.
- A networking event for local entrepreneurs.
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