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‘Rise of the Rest’ tour, which highlights startup success, to stop in P.R.

Washington, D.C.-based investment firm founded Revolution, founded in 2005, announced that its next five-day “Rise of the Rest” bus tour — to highlight startup success outside of Silicon Valley — will visit Puerto Rico on May 3.

The visit to Puerto Rico will explore innovation and
entrepreneurship with Chef José Andrés in the aftermath of Hurricane María,
organizers said.

Revolution’s “Rise of the Rest” Seed Fund is a $150
million fund launched in December 2018 by Executives Steve Case and J.D. Vance
and backed by a group of entrepreneurs, executives and investors including
Ray Dalio, Meg Whitman, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt and Sarah Blakely.

This tour marks the first time that a “Rise of the
Rest” trip has spent the majority of the tour in a single state — Florida — and
the first time it has visited a U.S. territory. On the “Rise of the Rest” tour,
Andrés and the Revolution team will visit companies and entrepreneurial support
organizations that are also looking to help Puerto Rico move from disaster
relief to long term recovery and growth.

Revolution’s “Rise of the Rest” is spending four days
in Florida to explore the many cities innovating on already-flourishing
economic sectors like hospitality, space technology and real estate.

Similarly, while in Puerto Rico, the tour will “aim to
shine a spotlight on how ecosystem builders and local leaders are working with
cities in Florida to support each other,” organizers said.

“Every election cycle Florida is in the national spotlight for what the state’s votes say about the future of the country, but we believe the focus should also be on the state’s entrepreneurial communities and the companies that will drive our nation forward,” said Case, founder of AOL.

“Startups
are responsible for nearly all net new job creation and with Florida’s size and
diversity, the state can help lead the way. I’ve long admired José’s dedication
to the people of Puerto Rico and I am excited to go with him to see how the
island is working towards building and supporting an innovation ecosystem,” he
said.

“Puerto Rico
has a unique and powerful opportunity to launch and scale startups that tackle
various real-world challenges following Hurricane María,” Chase said.

Since 2014, Case and the Revolution team have logged
more than 10,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 38 cities.

During each stop on Revolution’s “Rise of the Rest”
tour, the team will meet with and visit entrepreneurs, local business and
government leaders, and ecosystem builders. The tour will also host daily
fireside discussions and a startup pitch competition in which $500,000 will be invested
from the “Rise of the Rest” Seed Fund — $100,000 will be invested in a local
startup at each stop, organizers said.

“We’ve
witnessed the potential for startup ecosystems to transform local economies and
are excited to get to know the innovation communities in Florida and Puerto
Rico,” said Vance, managing partner of Revolution’s “Rise of the Rest” Seed
Fund.

“In Florida,
we look forward to learning more about how cities are innovating traditional
industries and how local startup champions are working across the state to welcome
entrepreneurs,” he said.

“And in
Puerto Rico, we will witness how startups are playing a critical role in
revitalizing the island’s economy. While we have 21 investments in the
Southeast in our ‘Rise of the Rest’ Seed Fund portfolio, only two are in Florida.
We look forward to adding five more innovative companies from Florida and
Puerto Rico to the portfolio,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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