27
Jul

Rise of the Rest – Ann Arbor

Derek Mehraban

Yes, Fantelope applied for Rise of the Rest with Steve Case and his crew from Revolution. Have you heard of Rise of the Rest? It’s a great idea and a godsend for companies like Fantelope. See, Steve Case believes that great companies from the Midwest deserve a chance to get funded and supported – just like companies on the east or west coast.

To make that happen, Rise of the Rest comes to five cities in the Midwest, and gives a $100K prize to one winner from each city. Sweet! This year Rise of the Rest is coming to:

  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Columbus, OH
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Harrisburg – Lancaster – York, PA

About Rise of the Rest: Revolution’s RISE OF THE REST® with Steve Case is a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Our view is that this is the beginning of a new era for the entrepreneurship across the U.S. — high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities. The effort has been praised by leading Democrats and Republicans, as well as businesses leaders across the country.

I want to personally thank Steve Case for this initiative. Growing  up in Michigan, with a dad who worked at Ford Motor Company for 30 years, you didn’t hear as much about startups. And now having started my own, I see how it’s not super easy to get seed investment. The seed investments in Michigan are more like Series A on the coasts. You need to have serious traction, lots of users, and revenue. So as a startup that is looking to grow in the Midwest, having true seed investment, based on our awesome product, go to market strategy, initial traction, revenue model, and leadership team – is a real gift.

Over 77% of VC investment happens on the West or East Coast. But there are great ideas and hard working people in the Midwest who can launch the next generation of startups that will grow and compete. In this blog post  the writer debunks some myths about the coasts and midwest startups. After reading this blog, I realized it was part of the Case Foundation. Founded by, you guessed it, Jean and Steve Case. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. These folks really walk the walk.

So Fantelope has put our application in for this competition. We feel we are a great choice to win the Ann Arbor, Rise of the Rest. We are raising a convertible debt round right now, and that is the sweet spot of the investment for the winner, $100K in convertible debt.

As we launch our Fantelope 2.0 app, and prepare for the fall sports season and our launch at 10 major universities, we will keep our fingers crossed that the VC gods smile on us and choose us for Rise of the Rest. And our other investors smile on us too, as we work to raise this seed capital to launch Fantelope this Fall 2017. Wish us luck!

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