Steve Case-Led Competition Tries to 'Level The Playing Field'

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Indianapolis tech entrepreneur Scott Dorsey (pictured left) was among the competitors Thursday at Rise of The Rest, co-created by AOL co-founder Steve Case (pictured right). Indianapolis tech entrepreneur Scott Dorsey (pictured left) was among the competitors Thursday at Rise of The Rest, co-created by AOL co-founder Steve Case (pictured right).

A national startup venture competition has brought out the biggest names in the state's tech scene and one of the brains behind it says it's all about telling the story of the lesser-known entrepreneurial hotspots. Rise of The Rest, a creation of AOL co-founder Steve Case and tech sector investor JD Vance, will crown a central Indiana winner from 10 young companies vying for the $100,000 prize. Case says the overwhelming majority of venture capital in the U.S. is still going to California, New York City and Boston, but there are opportunities to turn "Fly-over Country into Startup Country."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Case said the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the city and state is gaining steam, but has a way to go. "It's showing great momentum, (but) at the same time, right now, Indiana as a state last year got one percent of the venture capital. One percent," Case said. "So, yes, we should celebrate the progress in Indianapolis and parts of the state, but right now there's still work to do to raise the bar, raise the expectation and raise more capital for entrepreneurs." These ingredients, he adds, will create more startups and jobs that will, in turn, lift up Hoosiers everywhere.

Indianapolis is the 31st city to participate in Rise of the Rest since its launch three-and-a-half years ago. The Class of 2017 also includes Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, Pennsylvania; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The cities involved in today's pitch competition include:

  • Indianapolis-based Torchlite
  • Anderson-based Go Electric Inc.
  • Westfield-based 120WaterAudit LLC
  • Carmel-based DemandJump Inc.
  • Indianapolis-based Canvas
  • Bloomington-based Design My Soap
  • Indianapolis-based myCOI
  • Indianapolis-based LLC
  • Fishers-based Fuzic Inc.
  • Indianapolis-based Quantifi

You can connect to more about the individual companies in a previous profile of the competition by clicking here.

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