Revolution Ventures focuses on early-stage venture capital investments in technology-enabled businesses that disrupt existing, multi-billion dollar industries.
AOL co-founder Steve Case, now a partner at the venture capital firm Revolution, envisions an “AgTech belt around the St. Louis area” within a decade, comprised of startups lured by thousands of local engineers who understand farming and by new investment dollars.
To seize on that opportunity Revolution has created a fund dedicated to Heartland entrepreneurs. It recently raised $150 million for its Rise of the Rest (ROTR) Seed Fund from Silicon Valley backers that include LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, former Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Case argues that it makes sense to invest in the Midwest: The pattern of venture funding distribution is likely to shift as the next generation of tech innovation will need to take place in closer proximity to customers and their target industries.
“Seventy-five percent of Fortune 500 companies are in the middle of country. And most of the leaders, in most of the sectors, are in the middle of country. So, if you believe in domain expertise, and you believe in partnerships, that should advantage these rising cities,” says Case.