AOL Co-Founder Case Comes To Ann Arbor With $100K Purse For Pitch-Contest Winner

ANN ARBOR – AOL co-founder Steve Case is bringing his sixth Rise of the Rest startup road show to Ann Arbor Oct. 11 to shine a spotlight on what he calls a confluence of factors that are making it easier for startups to launch and create jobs and innovation in places like Ann Arbor, not just in Silicon Valley.

He will be joined by hundreds of entrepreneurs, elected officials and CEO’s including University of Michigan alumni Tige Savage and Donn Davis, Governor Rick Snyder, Mayor Christopher Taylor, bestselling author J.D. Vance of Hillbilly Elegy, Scott DeRue from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Mary Grove from Google for Entrepreneurs and Robert J. Manilla from The Kresge Foundation. 

MITechNews.Com Editor Mike Brennan will do a one-on-one video interview with Case during the tour.

During this 2,600-mile trip, Case will personally invest $500,000  ($100,000 each day in a local startup via a pitch competition) in emerging startups across each city. To help the finalists prepare to pitch, Case shares his take on what mistakes to avoid when you pitch investors via video HERE.

  • In the afternoon Case, author J.D. Vance and Mary Grove of Google for Entrepreneurs will be interviewed onstage by Emily Heintz of the Michigan Venture Capital Association in a fireside conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs. The public can RSVP to attend HERE.
  • Immediately following the interview eight startups will pitch Case, Vance, David Hall from Revolution LLC, Ashley Larson from Revolution Growth, Scott DeRue from the Ross School of Business and Robert J. Manilla from The Kresge Foundation. The winner will receive a $100,000 investment following the event. The public can RSVP to attend HERE. 
  • The Ann Arbor startups will compete to win a $100,000 investment from Case on the spot at the Michigan Theatre in the evening include:
    • SkySpecs | Pitching: Danny Ellis, CEO | About: SkySpecs automates predictive maintenance of energy infrastructure with drones.
    • SAHI Cosmetics LLC | Pitching: Sheleen (Shelly) Sahi, Founder & CEO | About: Sahi Cosmetics provides custom makeup for women of ethnic skin tones, specifically medium skin tones.
    • Pitstop | Pitching: Shiva Bhardwaj, CEO | About: Pitstop predicts vehicle failures before they happen.
    • Genomenon, Inc | Pitching: Mike Klein, CEO | About: Genomenon is an interpretation software for diagnosing and treating cancer.
    • Inmatech, Inc | Pitching: Les Alexander, CEO | About: Inmatech commercializes novel high-performance supercapacitors for energy storage systems.
    • Warmilu | Pitching: Grace Hsia, CEO | About: Warmilu provides non-electric warmth to those who need it most.
    • SurClean, Inc | Pitching: Susan Sprentall, Founder, President & CEO | About: SurClean laser surface prep removes paint, replacing old traditional methods.
    • Civionics, Inc | Pitching: Gerry Roston, CEO | About: Civionics improves manufacturers’ profitability by reducing downtime.

3 – 4 PM

Fireside Chat with Steve Case, author J.D. Vance and Mary Grove from Google for Entrepreneurs moderated by Emily Heintz of the Michigan Venture Capital Association

Location: Michigan Theater, 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(** The public can RSVP to attend HERE.) 

4 – 6 PM 

Startup Pitch Competition for $100,000 Investment from Steve Case

Location: Michigan Theater, 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Join us for the Rise of the Rest $100,000 Pitch Competition with eight of the most innovative startup companies in Michigan who will be given the opportunity to pitch Steve Case and a panel of all-star judges. Steve Case will personally invest in the winning startup.  The pitch competition will include judges Steve Case, author of the Hillbilly Elegy J.D. Vance, David Hall from Revolution LLC, Ashley Larson from Revolution Growth, Scott DeRue from the Ross School of Business and Robert J. Manilla from The Kresge Foundation.  

(** The public can RSVP to attend HERE.)

 6 PM – 7 PM Happy Hour

Finally, Case will host an after-party for entrepreneurs, investors, and all other members of the Ann Arbor entrepreneurial ecosystem. Join us to celebrate all the amazing progress in Michigan, meet the people making it happen, and enjoy a few drinks. Those attending the Pitch Competition will have first priority into the Happy Hour, which has limited space, so be sure and register for the Pitch.

(** The public can RSVP to attend HERE.)

The Rise of the Rest tours are a nationwide effort led by Case, who is an iconic investor and an entrepreneur, to showcase – and invest in – entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems across the U.S. Through the initiative, nearly $3 million has been invested in startup businesses across a diverse set of 26 cities including Detroit, Charleston, Pittsburgh, Madison, Philadelphia, New Orleans and more.