Rise of the Rest Road Trip with Steve Case

Former AOL CEO Steve Case is making a case for the entrepreneurial ingenuity of Americans with a four-city tour that will pull into Pittsburgh on June 25.

“Rise of the Rest with Steve Case” will shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs in the American heartland, including Detroit, Cincinnati and Nashville.

The point is not to just celebrate entrepreneurship, but advance it, Case says.

“It’s important to remember that America itself was once a startup, and became the greatest economy in the world thanks to the efforts of entrepreneurs who built not just companies, but entire industries in the heart of the country,” said Case in a statement issued by Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm.

“This journey—covering nearly 1,000 miles—will showcase emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems that will play a critical role in rebuilding the American economy and creating new middle class jobs,” Case said.

In each city, Case will spend the day meeting with mayors and political and business leaders as well as selected entrepreneurs. The chosen startups in each city will have an opportunity to pitch and win $100,000 in investment funding.

“We are certainly seeing a rise in investment coming from outside the area and events like this will result in even more outside funding,” said Mike Matesic, president and CEO of Idea Foundry.

Case is chairman and CEO of Revolution, a firm that has backed companies like Zipcar, LivingSocial and AddThis. Sponsors of the tour include UP Global, Google for Entrepreneurs, Engine and Seed Here Studio. Follow the #RiseOfRest on Twitter and Instagram.

In other Pittsburgh startup news, Cognition Therapeutics received $1.4 million from the National Institute on Aging for further research on disease-modifying drugs to halt the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The funding will be used over the next four years to support the startup’s research and secure investigational “new drug” status for its “small molecule drugs” that directly target the proteins believed to cause the symptoms and progression of the deadly disease. For an overview of research, check out this video.

The award represents a major achievement in terms of validation of our research, says Susan Catalano of Cognition Therapeutis. “We are excited about the progress of our current candidate drugs… that we use right here in our lab in Pittsburgh’s South Side.”

In other startup news, Pittsburgh startup NoWait, creator of the successful network for casual-dining restaurants, has raised a $10 million round lead by Drive Capital of Ohio.

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared...