AOL co-founder Steve Case and a bunch of highly prominent tech billionaires including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt have set up up a $150m Rise of the Rest seed fund for startups in the Midwest and other areas that are often overlooked by investors.
As The New York Times puts it, the complete list of investors in the Rise of the Rest fund “may be the greatest concentration of American wealth and power in one investment fund.” In addition to Bezos and Schmidt, it includes:
- Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz
- Fashion designer Tory Burch
- Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio
- Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert
- KKR co-founder Henry Kravis
- Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein
- Financier and philanthropist Michael Milken
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers chairman John Doerr
- Breyer Capital founder Jim Breyer
- Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker
- Spanx founder Sara Blakely
- Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Storm owner Jeff Vinik
- Banker Byron Trott
- Goldman Sachs leader director Adebayo Ogunlesi
- and members of the Walton, Koch and Pritzker families
The fund, which shares a name with Case’s speaking tour and startup pitch competition, plans to provide mentorship as well as financing to entrepreneurs located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston and other major business hubs.
Case told The New York Times that the Rise of the Rest fund isn’t a social impact fund, but instead seeks to increase investment in underserved regions by proving companies there can “generate top returns.”
Case believes that there are returns in areas that are further than a 1 hour drive from their offices in the Valley.
Posted on December 5, 2017