Small business roadshow featuring AOL’s Steve Case to stop in KC

08/29/2014 5:50 PM

09/01/2014 9:58 PM

AOL co-founder and investor Steve Case will lead a group of business experts making a pit stop in Kansas City next month to promote entrepreneurship and meet with area small-business owners.

The Kansas City visit, set for Oct. 9, is part of a five-city, 1,800-mile bus tour called the Rise of the Rest Road Trip. Other stops on the tour are Madison, Wis., Minneapolis, Des Moines and St. Louis.

The event builds on the original Rise of the Rest trip, which was held in June. On that first road show, Case and the entrepreneur entourage met with more than 70 startup ventures in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville and invested $500,000 in five companies.

“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.”

The Kansas City events are scheduled to be held at Hangar 9 at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. The events will begin at 2:30 p.m. and are open to the public. Registration for tickets is required.

As part of the local activities, the small-business experts will tour several companies and entrepreneurial incubators. There will be a “fireside chat” panel discussion moderated by Steve Clemons of the Atlantic magazine with Case and several other tour participants.

The highlight will involve investment pitches from eight to 10 area companies before a panel of judges. One company will come away with a $100,000 investment from Case. The companies have not been selected yet.

The day will conclude with a networking event.

To apply for the pitch competition and tickets for the program, go to www.riseoftherest.com.

Road tour organizers include Revolution, the venture capital firm co-founded by Case; UP Global; Google for Entrepreneurs; Engine Advocacy; Startup Grind; and Seed Here Studio.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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