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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 Midwest.
In a conversation with Business Insider reporter Richard Feloni at Business Insider’s Ignition conference 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.
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 York.
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: