SALT Voices: Steve Case | Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Revolution | Summary and Q&A

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June 19, 2019
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SALT
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SALT Voices: Steve Case | Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Revolution

TL;DR

Revolution aims to support entrepreneurs in locations outside Silicon Valley by providing funding and resources to create a more inclusive and diverse startup ecosystem.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is Revolution focused on supporting entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley?

Revolution believes that there are untapped investment opportunities in other locations due to lower valuations compared to Silicon Valley. They aim to back entrepreneurs in these areas and create better investment returns.

Q: What has been easier and harder than expected for Revolution in their Rise of the Rest initiative?

Easier than expected has been the increasing momentum and possibility in the cities visited during their road trips, with some breakout successes. Harder than expected is the brain drain from smaller cities to tech hubs and the more risk-averse culture in some communities.

Q: Can you share some examples of breakout success stories Revolution has supported?

One example is Stock X, a company in Detroit that has grown from a few people to over 500 employees and achieved a billion-dollar valuation. Another example is Cattle Light in Baltimore, which uses AI to identify coding aptitude. These success stories highlight the impact of Revolution's support.

Q: How is Revolution addressing the issue of inclusivity and leveling the playing field?

Revolution aims to bring more inclusivity to the startup ecosystem by backing entrepreneurs everywhere and not just focusing on specific locations. They are also committed to supporting a diverse range of founders, as currently, a majority of investment goes to men and a lack of representation exists for African-Americans.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Revolution's goal is to be the leading venture capital firm outside Silicon Valley, recognizing the investment potential and lower valuations in other parts of the country.

  • Through their initiative, Rise of the Rest, Revolution has invested in over 100 companies in 60 cities, fostering a sense of momentum and generating breakout successes.

  • The challenges lie in the brain drain from smaller cities to major tech hubs and the need to change cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurship to create equal opportunities across the country.

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