Iconic Serial Entrepreneur, Steve Case, Visits Nashville – Again!

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, along with our community partners WKU, NTC and Fisk, proudly welcomed back serial entrepreneur and best selling author, Steve Case, and his Revolution team to Nashville for a Holiday Speaker Series event on December 1, 2022. 

Steve Case is one of America’s best-known tech entrepreneurs, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. In 1985, he co-founded America Online (AOL) and more recently has focused on starting and scaling Revolution, the Washington DC-based investment firm that backs entrepreneurs at every stage of development.

A sold out crowd of 250 attendees gathered for the Fireside Chat to hear EC Board Chair Emeritas John Ingram, principal owner of the Nashville Soccer Club, moderate a discussion focused on the future of entrepreneurship where Steve Case shared insights into how he found success in over 130 tech startups.

Visit the entire Steve Case Fireside Chat event recap HERE

John Ingram set the conversation’s precedent in referencing Steve Case’s first book, The Third Wave, which Case likes to refer to as the “internetting of everything else”. The two discussed how the pandemic has enhanced the role of the online internet. “Suddenly there is this ‘unlock’ that has happened, providing people with more flexibility of where to work and where to live, which has had a boomerang effect, causing people to return back to cities they had left. That silver lining is accelerating The Rise of the Rest,” Case notes.

The Rise of the Rest is the seed fund backed by Steve Case and other iconic entrepreneurs, executives, and investors focused on building capital across cities in the U.S. The initiative kicked off with a road trip tour in 2017 on the infamous Rise of the Rest Bus, which has since been a mobile platform for startup investment opportunity. Their campaign has accelerated the already existing entrepreneurial momentum across Middle America with over 1,400 new venture start-ups in Rise of the Rest cities

Case ends the Fireside Chat with a bit of entrepreneurial optimism. “The key to unifying America is unleashing innovation and growth.” In order to do that you have to give people a sense of hope, possibility and opportunity. “That’s what entrepreneurs and cities like Nashville are doing,” says Case.

Key Takeaways

  • With problem solving in mind, Case touched on the importance of diversity in order to address the opportunity gap. Rise of the Rest not only focuses on ‘place’ as a means for growth, but engaging different demographics who in turn bring their own unique insight into existing problems they have proximity to.

  • “At the core of every Entrepreneur – at the core of life essentially – is to see a problem and turn that into an opportunity,” says Case. What distinguishes entrepreneurs is, “taking those challenges and putting them on the table with a sense of urgency and intentionality.”

  • Case talks about four C’s in opportunity: culture, collaboration, creativity and capital, which foster the right breeding ground for talent. As the advancement of technology continues to reduce geographic barriers, the conversation now becomes talent over pedigree. And as expressed in Case’s new book, Rise of the Rest, talent is everywhere.

This was a free event for the entrepreneurial community, with visitors from coast to coast. The event included lunch followed by a complimentary book and book signing of Steve’s newest publication, The Rise of the Rest, How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream.

Read more about Steve’s visit on The Nashville Business Journal

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